Fruiting Bodies and Other Fungi

Brian Lumley, Author Tor Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85458-4
In an introductory diatribe against the current vogue of splatterpunk, Lumley ( Blood Brothers ) aligns himself with the old school of horror, which aimed, he reminds us, to entertain as well as horrify. These 13 tales, all previously published in magazines and collections over the past 20 years, amply bear out his thesis. Some of the best are set in Lumley's native northern England. In the title piece, which won a British Fantasy Award in 1989, a village is gradually invaded by a mysterious fungus--an ingenious, skin-crawling villain. In ``The Viaduct,'' a more mundane--but no less terrifying--human adversary turns two boys' daredevil prank of climbing across a dangerous viaduct into a nightmare. Many of the stories bear the acknowledged influence of H. P. Lovecraft. ``The Man Who Photographed Beardsley,'' for example, recalls Lovecraft's ``Pickman's Model'' (as well as Poe's ``The Tell-Tale Heart''). Many of the stories, though generally the less effective ones, hinge on the discovery of ancient evil by overly inquisitive anthropologists, in the manner of Bram Stoker's The Jewel of the Seven Stars . In general, however, Lumley's well-crafted tales are satisfying entertainments. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1993
Release date: 02/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-312-86200-8
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-1869-9
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