Posts Tagged ‘William Meikle’

Twice upon an Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales

May 30, 2017 - 5:24 pm No Comments

Twice upon an Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales edited by Rachel Kenley and Scott T Goudsward: Authors: Armand Rosamilia, William Meikle, Bracken MacLeodPeter N. DudarMorgan SylviaDon D’AmmassaMichael KampWinifred BurnistonZach ShephardGary A. Braunbeck (Introduction)

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 30th May 2017

284 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Like most people I grew up with fairy tales, and have always loved it when authors put their own twist to them. Each story is a different tale but have one thing in common, they all had a Lovecraftian theme.

With 21 stories to capture your imagination, you be hard pressed to find a story that you don’t like. For this review, I am going to pick my favourites.

Little Maiden of the Sea by David Bernard: Using the story of The Little Mermaid, the author tells the story of a female Deep one, who wants to live with humans. Reading this story, I had the feeling that both main characters used each other to get what they wanted in life. The added twist at the end left me wondering if the plan worked.

The Horror of Hatchet Point by Zach Shephard: Based on Rumpelstiltskin and sticking very close to the original this story tells how Rumpelstiltskin uses the Queen to enable him to call forth Father Dagon. Whilst the character of Rumpelstiltskin is a hated child abductor, the author puts a spin on this character and explains the reasons behind his plan.

Let Me Come In by Simon Yee: If you have read The Three Little Pigs, the wolf is the bad guy, however in this story, the wolf has just survived The Great War against the humans and is looking for food. His meeting with the three little pigs and a mysterious white symbol tells the story in a whole new light. It was different to read it from the point of view of the wolf and I did find it funny to hear the pigs swearing, as I am used to the original fairy tale. I liked how the wolf did not use his breath to destroy the houses.

The Little Match Mi-Go by Michael Kamp: After the Old ones were released and destroyed the earth, it was left to the smallest of the Mi-Go to save the earth. This story follows this creature whilst it tries and find Ghatanothoa. Throughout this story I felt sorry for the little Mi-Go as I sensed the quest was hopeless, and I was willing it to survive.

Writing this review, I found it hard to pick my favourites as every story was good. Not having read any of these authors previous works, I did not know what to expect but I have now added more authors to my list to read. I have not read any of HP Lovecraft, but this did not stop me enjoying this book. Lovecraft’s characters suited these fairy tales and returned them to the dark tales before Disney got hold of them. If you like your fairy tales dark or just a fan of Lovecraft then this is a great book to buy.

William Meikle Double Bill

January 21, 2014 - 12:24 am No Comments

The Ravine
Author: William Meikle
Publisher: Dark Regions Press
Page count: 218pp
Release Date: 19th November 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Written by prolific author William Meikle, The Ravine is a period Western horror in Meikle’s inimitable style.
Captain David Stevens has been on tour of duty for nine months now and is getting antsy for action or home. Hoping for rest that was unlikely, Stevens was sent out to investigate something strange happening in the west badlands. On his mission, he sees a vortex whirling black in the distance but it is no natural phenomenon; the vortex sucking the platoon deep inside. When they emerge from the vortex it’s night and one of the men is dead. And the night sky, which Stevens should’ve known, is unfamiliar to him. And then the group of soldiers hear a scream, and find their dead friend being tortured by a winged ten foot creature enrobed in blackness. So begins a dark journey into the old west blending the best of horror with the vibe of The Valley of Gwangi.

Further down stream, on a trail in the ravine herding cattle, when Joe, Doyle and Joe’s son Tommy find water, it appears to be a life saver for them and their town, but there is something strange about the water and the fish that swim there.

As always, Meikle’s writing is emotional and incredibly visual. The story itself is wonderfully apocalyptic and dark, perfect for fans of old school horror and adventure. And some of the descriptions Meikle uses are gross enough to cause nausea in the reader, and the monsters in this novel are almost Lovecraftian in their perversity and reminiscent of Carpenters The Thing

Samurai and other Stories
Author: William Meikle
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Page count: 132pp
Release Date: 25th January 2014
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Prolific writer William Meikle here reprints a collection of previously published short stories together in one volume with Crystal Lake Publishing. The collection starts with the lead story Samurai, and Cap’n Duncan on a Japan Run. When his boat is lost only five of fifty five men make it out alive. On an island they take refuge in what appears to be a temple, a welcoming temple with food and warmth, but what’s the catch?

Meikle’s stories are imbued with a sense of old codes of conduct and honour, the sins of man and greed, the supernatural and the just plain weird. His stories are also visual and full of literal and metaphorical colour. Rickman’s Plasma, an unusual piece about a form of music devouring all those in its way is almost an homage to The Blob. Meikle’s turn of phrase is entertaining and also grim and visceral. In this story anaphora is used to comic effect.
Home is the Sailor is the story of a cursed hotel, occupied by pensioners gradually decaying away and is perhaps the most darkly humorous of the stories in this collection. Turn Again, in contrast is a short piece but the least satisfying of the collection.

The collection spans centuries and cultures adding diversity to the readers enjoyment. However Meikle seems rather fond of the name Duncan, perhaps because of his Scottish heritage. Yet this heritage adds a depth of culture to much of his work, particularly The Scottsmans Fiddle. He is adept at using lyrics, limericks and shanti songs to add flavour to his stories. A particularly strong story is The Havenhome, the tale of a ship that arrives in a deserted town where all of the inhabitants have been frozen to death beyond all reason. Meikle brings out a much darker style in Living the Dream, a story of obsession and kidnapping.
Overall, this is an engaging insight into Meikle’s work and I would say I enjoyed 99% of the stories, with their variety of flavour and Meikle’s obvious talent. Great value for money.

The Creeping Kelp!

January 21, 2013 - 4:19 pm 1 Comment

The Creeping Kelp
Author: William Meikle
Publisher: Dark Regions Press
Page count/size: 155pp/228KB
Release Date: 30th April 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This literary Monster B-Movie starts with an environmental message from Greenpeace. Following this we meet Dave Noble, collecting samples aboard the dinghy Zodiac, in an area where the plastic is rife, as is risk of pollution to the sea.

Fisherman have already been reporting sights of strange mutations in the area, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise when all hell breaks loose on the mother ship Earth Rescue, as Noble returns with a black goop that has stuck to the surface of the chopper and boat.

Biologist Suzie Jukes examines the black tar sample that Noble returns with, and declares it was once alive, and they may have found an incipient species. It appears it is a ‘plastic eater’, a natural garbage disposal unit. As Noble and Jukes examine the sample, they hear screams from the upper deck and go up to see a member of the crew being plucked away by a massive tendril.

With a small crew trapped aboard the boat and the monstrous kelp growing and spreading, the feel of claustrophobia oozes from the page.

We then switch to Kimmeridge Bay, where holiday-maker Maggie Walsh watches in horror as black tentacles emerge from the sea and attack the locals. It isn’t long before they have a national emergency on their hands.

Back on land and under the protection of the MOD, Jukes hacks records and finds a link to the past of when the creeping kelp was first created.

Blending cinematic visuals, gore, humour, and Cthulhu mythos, this book is great fun and will satisfy gore hounds as well as those looking for something more indepth. With the use of historical diaries and notebooks, Meikle creates his own monstrous mythos and the book rattles along at a fantastic pace.

This will entertain any fans of Meikle and bring in new fans. Great stuff.