Wednesday, 15 November 2017

SHORT STORY COMPENDIUM: Strange Weather - Joe HIll

Release Date: 07/11/17
Publisher: Gollancz


Four short novels from the author of THE FIREMAN and HORNS, ranging from creepy horror to powerful explorations of our modern society.

One autumnal day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails, splinters of bright crystal that tear apart anyone who isn't safely under cover. 'Rain' explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as clouds of nails spread out across the country and the world. Amidst the chaos, a girl studying law enforcement takes it upon herself to resolve a series of almost trivial mysteries . . . apparently harmless puzzles that turn out to have lethal answers.

In 'Loaded' a mall security guard heroically stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun movement. Under the hot glare of the spotlights, though, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it...

'Snapshot, 1988' tells the story of an kid in Silicon Valley who finds himself threatened by The Phoenician, a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid that can steal memories...

And in 'Aloft' a young man takes to the skies to experience parachuting for the first time . . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero's island of roiling vapour that seems animated by a mind of its own.


For me, Joe Hill is one of those authors that whilst he can write full length novels, always feels better with the short story. I like the way he puts it together, draws it all up in no nonsense prose and manages to breathe life into the whole piece in such a way that the characters come across wonderfully well without an extra padding in order to get to the meat of the tale.

Add to this a cracking imagination, a good understanding or pace as well as the ability to hit hard and fast with the twists all round made this a pure pleasure to read. Magic.

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