A Touch of the Creature

Charles Beaumont, Author Subterranean Press $40 (175p) ISBN 978-1-892284-45-7
While Beaumont may be best remembered for his contributions to The Twilight Zone, he also produced a considerable number of short stores that crossed a spectrum of genres, from horror and dark fantasy to more traditional noir and mystery fiction. Twelve of the 13 stories in this collection have never been published before. ""Adam's Off Ox"" is a folksy tall tale combining a deal-with-the-devil plot with a surprising take on the origin of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe. In ""The Junemoon Spoon,"" the citizens of a small country town collude to take revenge on a sleazy traveling salesman. With ""A Long Way from Capri,"" ""Lachrymosa,"" ""The Rival"" and ""A Friend of the Family,"" Beaumont uses romantic twist endings to heal his characters' wounded hearts. ""Time and Again"" and ""The Indian Piper"" are also gentle stories of healing, though without the romance. In ""Moon in Gemini,"" a young woman's fears for her unborn baby rapidly turn to dangerous paranoia, while ""Resurrection Island"" will appeal to fans of pulp adventure. Although no dates are given to any of these stories, all betray their age with their old-fashioned sensibility. Fans of Beaumont's writing are sure to enjoy this collection, however. Introduction by Christopher Beaumont and afterword by Richard Matheson not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
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