Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Black Horde by Richard Lewis

Black Horde
aka Devil's Coach-Horse
by Richard Lewis
1979 Signet



Like the best of disaster/animal attack novels, The Black Horde is largely a series of miniature character studies, each punctuated by gruesome death, here by tiny, man-eating beetles.  Lewis is kind enough not to waste page time on following any main characters.  A scientist finally pops up with a way to counter the plague, the end?  Lewis had the guts to kill off scores of children, but chickened out and did so off page.  Signet really jumped on the killer animal bandwagon around this time, with another dozen or so titles advertised.

Paperback from Amazon

Friday, September 15, 2017

You've Got Foetus On Your Breath - Flashback

Speaking of weird Foetus references, this track ends with a rant lifted from Nitro of Marvel Comics, I think from Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man 55.  I think from the same issue is the line "Thank Heaven for Push Button Phones", which is a track title on the same album.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Darkly the Thunder by William W. Johnstone

Darkly the Thunder
by William W. Johnstone
1990 Zebra Books



"DO BOP DE DO BOP DE DO BOP, DE DO."

The 80's are over, and so is the fun, if this lifeless slog has any indication of the rest of the 90s.

So far the worst things about Johnstone horror novels are disembodied sarcastic voices, endless discussion of cosmic rules that he refuses to explain, and interminable padding of characters repeating things back and forth to each other.  That's all this book is.

The Fury is a neutron star that evolved into pure evil and lives off the souls of the recently departed.  It manifests itself as a disembodied voice that yells racist taunts and sings doo-wop.  The Fury is stuck in the 1950s and doesn't understand modern technology.  It has closed off a Colorado town in a secular re-tread of the well worn path of the Devil novels.

There's a little bit of folks not being friendly anymore and a little public masturbation, but not of the bacchanalia of the Devil books.  Bodies are found torn apart and anyone who tries to leave town is killed by the Fury's psychic force.  Not sure what the Fury's endgame is other than killing people, why he doesn't just kill everybody day one, and what 50's music has to do with anything.

On the side of good we have the Force, which doesn't sound too far off from the Jedi stuff except for its love of vigilante murder.  The Force is embodied by the spirit of a James Dean type named Sand who died decades ago after killing the frat boys who killed his wife.

Sand tells his story via a television set, which is recorded by the town's 10-year-old computer genius.  The Fury also tells his story to a reporter who interviews him for hours.  None of that is shared with the reader.

Pretty earlier on, the President is made aware of the situation and plans a strike with a neutron bomb, while the press and some snake handlers show up in town.  The kid hacker is able to figure out where the Fury is in town by tracing him on the telephone, and Sand communicates via modem until Johnstone forgets this device and has him just be telepathic.

Some good carnage in the beginning, and a quick zombie attack in the middle, but almost nothing happens the entire book.  The townspeople and CIA and the White House plan things and the Fury calls the Sheriff burrito-breath and nothing happens for page upon page.  The only interest is Sand's back story of vigilante justice, which has nothing to do with anything.

The plan is finally revealed and executed.  The President drops a neutron bomb on the town.  They blame aliens because if America knew the truth about the afterlife Las Vegas would close down and the liquor industry would collapse.  The townspeople blow up the entire town to create a smokescreen, because the omniscient Fury can't see through smoke.  They use the cover to run through a portal that Sand creates to teleport to safety.

Epilogue: Everyone gets married and the crater that the bomb made is now filled with all the souls that the Fury had taken over the years.  None of this book makes enough sense to even tell if there are plot holes.  Johnstone gets as preachy here as he does in the Ashes books, only now it's about feeding the homeless and being kind to animals.  Like a damn hippy.

Available in Kindle ebook from Amazon

Click here to read a sample

Monday, September 11, 2017

Le Voyage Extraordinaire

Le Voyage Extraordinaire
Futuroscope
France

Futuroscope is a future-themed park in France focusing on 4D movies, though it was nice to see they had a couple of old-fashioned slides.  There should be more slides in parks.

Le Voyage Extraordinaire is a straight up Sorin' knock off, but queue is amazing.  Escher stairs going nowhere, Stargate portals.  I love areas that have a sense of more going on and places you could have gone.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

ABC 1983 - The ABC Saturday Preview Special

An historical look back this time.  This was when Menudo videos were spliced in between everything.