Black Tears #7

Review by Jenny Barber

Black Tears has a great combo of contents in this issue, including an interview with Christopher Fowler, author of the new novel Spanky which has also been reviewed in this issue. But on to the stories…

You Deserve it Darling by Martin Feekins is spellbindingly Dennis-Wheatley-astic. It’s a voodoo thang that twists about like a rabid snake and then viciously bites on the, er, behind. It’s your average day for an actress – gets the lead role in a big voodoo movie, loses it to a friend who happens to be sleeping with the director, said friend wins ‘best actress’ award while you’ve only been nominated for supporting actress. Basically, it’s been a bad day; and after all that research you did too. Ah well, who’s to waste research… the day could pick up after all… or not.

The Last Big Buzz by Bo Vilmos Widerbeg is oddly fascinating. Coo, I thought, reading about the stranger who, two days after trying to explode himself, decides to stay at the house of some stranger who gave a little help. A stranger who didn’t give out his name or address. Then, after relating about two centuries of ‘I was there’ history, the human fire-bomb leaves the stranger with nothing but some very persistent memories. This story glues your eyes to the page until you’ve finished reading and then makes you want to read more.

Bad Deal by Dominic Dulley eventually gets you, although it does take too much time to do it. With persistence you’ll find an exceedingly surprising ending to the story about a tramp who remembers a life full of ‘better’ things.

Lucy by Rhys H Hughes starts off slow but soon becomes very compelling. The two main characters, doctors, are playing a never-ending game of one-upmanship – for instance, they bet on how long a dying patient will live and one tries to cheat by getting help from the local witch. Sometimes the story gets a little boring but it is still worth the reading, if only for the witch’s comments.

Edited by Adam Bradley.

This review was originally published in 1995, in the March/April issue of the BFS Newsletter (#19.2).