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Hugh Lamb – New Tales Of Terror

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed.) – New Tales Of Terror (Severn House, 1981)

Introduction – Hugh Lamb

Robert Haining – Sylow Springs
Ken Dickson – The Snorkel, The Starfish And The Salt, Salt Sea
Elizabeth Fancett – A Strange And Awful Coincidence
Brian Lumley – Snarker’s Son
Rosemary Timperley – Some Travellers Return …
Ken Alden – Justice Tresilian In The Tower
Les Freeman – Mind
T. H. McCormick – Morton
Eleanor Inglefield – The Singing Stream
Adrian Cole – Midnight Hag
Elizabeth Fancett – Baby Hate
Robert Aickman – The Fetch

Robert Aickman – The Fetch: Aickman’s strange tales can be hard, if rewarding work, but The Fetch might have been written specifically for those of us who wished he’d try his hand at a straight trad horror story. The appearance of ‘Auld Carlin’ at Pollaporra portends a death in the family. Brodwick first becomes aware of her on the night of his beloved mother’s death and again when his wife Shulie disappears. Now he’s holed up alone in the house, abandoned by his second wife Clarrisa (she’s run off with her lesbian lover: Brodrick is not a success with women who clearly baffle him though he seems entirely unaware of the fact). As the old woman has to be invited in, he’s condemned to a form of living death, incarcerated in the family home.

Ken Dickson – The Snorkel, The Starfish And The Salt, Salt Sea: The night prior to their holidaying on the Costa Brava, Robert celebrates his birthday by making love to wife Moira on the carpet after a romantic meal. Then he slits her throat. In Spain he meets widower Maureen and her little boy Terry. Romance blossoms. All is well until Robert goes diving wearing the snorkel Moira bought him and he is joined by a starfish with sickle scar resembling his murdered wife’s face (!) which has been following him since he arrived at the hotel. Alone in the deep he encounters a fiery-eyed red head with vengeance on her mind …

Elizabeth Fancett – A Strange And Awful Coincidence: A man regains consciousness in a dark cave with no recollection of how he got there. In the gloom, he finds another fellow in identical circumstances – they even prepared the same packed lunch. As they frantically search for a way out, the other bloke’s whining begins to get on our man’s nerves, and he bashes his head in. So, neither of them escapes – but why is only one body ever recovered?

Robert Haining – Sylow Springs: Salesman Sam is forced to spend the night in a run down, unfriendly mining town gone to seed. He takes a room at the once splendid Grand Hotel which is now the decrepit haunt of junkies, prostitutes and petty criminals and gives the impression of decomposing before his eyes. His moribund father, raised in the depression era, has always gloatingly warned him that he won’t be so fine when poverty finds him as it must all – it’s like a cancer – and so it proves. Panicked by a nightmare, Sam, bolts for the elevator deciding that he’d rather walk home than spend another minute in this evil dump. He presses the button, and …

Elizabeth Fancett – Baby Hate: Gary is convinced that his newborn son Paul hates his guts and would do him harm if he could. Wife Helen is concerned, especially as the doctor puts the seed in her head that perhaps it is the other way around: Is it not possible that Gary resents his son? The question of just who hates who is settled to everyone’s satisfaction in a suitably bloody finale.

Brian Lumley – Snarker’s Son: Parallel world fun and games, pretty throwaway. In a mirror version of London, one of her majesty’s finest learns why everybody avoids the underground stations at half past ten. Sergeant Scott ignores all warning and steps down onto the nearest platform and gets his first and last meeting with a ‘Tuber’.

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