Tentacles

My reading has recently outrun by ability to keep up with reviews.

So, you get another retro review.

This one is from March 12, 2013. I think I got the book as a review copy through LibraryThing.

No editor seems listed for this anthology.

Review: Tentacles, 2012.Tentacles

Truth in advertising. You do get tentacles in every story – and a lot of alien possession.

There are four stories from three authors with none of the stories longer than 11,000 words with the shortest at 2,500.

Solar Pioneer” from Eva LeFoy starts out with that old reliable science fiction thriller hook – the rescue mission to the space station in trouble. (Ok, so it’s more than 10 years since they got in trouble. There’s a war going on.) There is a sole survivor. But that’s not all Coop, the rescuer, finds. For one thing, there’s those voices in his head … This story kept me involved even though it really didn’t go anyplace unexpected.

Zaural“, also from LeFoy, kind of starts out with the same hook – a rescue mission. Here it’s a full ship worth of rescuers and there are plenty of people on a colony world set up for political undesirables. But the nearby sun is gearing up for a particle storm that will kill the colonists so they are going to be mandatorily evacuated. First, though, the captain wants to find out why the Gramica, the local lifeform, killed a colonist and if they’re sentient. The longest story in the book, it has a couple of minor scientific puzzles and a surprising, ambiguous ending.

To be honest, I’m not sure what exactly what went on with D. R. Larsson’s “Mr. Sweede“. I know it involves an alien who assimilates the body and memories of its victims. I think there’s something of a biter-bitten plot, but continuity problems in the description of the action confused me, and I don’t think this story works.

Last in the book is the fun historical horror piece “The Sacrifice” by Haley Whitehall. In it, a poor, virginal, scullery maid is sacrificed to the Kraken by pirates. What happens then is both surprising and very human.

So, three pieces of effective, light entertainment of the horror variety.

 

More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.

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