Alien Legends: Repository of Imagination by Gill Shutt. Book review

alienlegendsAlien Legends: Repository of Imagination by Gill Shutt,

Greyhart Press, P/B, £7.99

Reviewed by Steve Dean

I’m not sure if this is vanity published or not. It certainly looks like it is, with a stock cover image and cheap paper.

Anyway, to the fiction. The author uses the device of pretending these stories were written by various people, human and alien, and then deposited in the eponymous Repository. This quickly becomes tiresome, although it is aimed at younger readers, 11-15 to be exact. The stories are a mix of SF, fantasy and horror, many one page vignettes, some longer works.

For example, the story ‘Werd The Godless’ has one Holeb cross breeding a white flower with a red flower to make a new red and white flower. The Godtalkers, priests, tell God about this, and God turns away from the Werd people. That’s the whole story. And that’s wrong on so many levels, not limited to literature and preaching. Ok, this is just one example, but it sets the tone and gives you a brief snippet of the form of the stories.

I can’t see any child, no matter how avid a reader, getting further than the first couple of stories. They are short, but boring, pretentious nonsense for the most part, unoriginal and light on content. Characterisation is almost non-existent, as are the plots, suspense, pacing, and any real logic.

I wouldn’t give this book to a child, in fact I would probably take it off them if I saw them with it. It would put them off reading for life, as well as fill their heads with unwanted images.

As I said, I don’t know if money has changed hands here, but I personally wouldn’t publish this tripe willingly and with my own cash.