cover image No Sharks in the Med and Other Stories

No Sharks in the Med and Other Stories

Brian Lumley. Subterranean (, $40 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59606-434-8

This collection rounds out a three-volume set of the best short works by British horror icon Lumley (The Taint and Other Novellas; Haggopian and Other Stories), delicately illustrated by Bob Eggleton. In theory, the book concentrates on Lumley’s non-Lovecraftian work, but good old H.P. casts a long shadow. Most of the stories feel a little dated, and the subject matter runs in a narrow thematic band, warning against interlopers (“The Luststone,” “The Picnickers”), interacting with society’s fringes (“The Viaduct,” “The Pit-Yakker,” and “The Whisperer”), and vacationing in Greece (“The Sun, the Sea, and the Silent Scream” and the title story).The more interesting works are those where Lumley moves outside his comfort zone, from the droll humor of “The Disapproval of Jeremy Cleave” to the quiet subversion of colonialism in “My Thing Friday.” Best appreciated as an artifact of a particular phase in horror’s development, the collection offers affirmation for Lumley’s fans, but less for the casual reader. (Sept.)