Peeping Tom #17 (ed. by Stuart Hughes)

Review by Jenny Barber

This review was originally published in the January/February 1995 issue of the BFS Newsletter (Vol. 19, No. 1).

The latest issue of ‘Tom is introduced by a guest editorial by Peter Tennant who confronts the problem of censorship in videos and how it could gradually lead to censorship of the written word. Topical stuff.

The story content maintains the high quality I’ve come to expect from ‘Tom and among the many excellent works herein is Man Beast by Stephen Laws. It is an alternative werewolf story which gives you a werewolf’s eye view on things and an ending that has the finest of twists. This is beautifully descriptive and leaves you with a feeling of awesome… well, wow.

The most outstanding stories here were The Eye of the Beholder by Barbara Davies and The Most Portable Phone by Anthony Cawood. One is a contemporary contact lens story where the world is seen through a rather special pair of contact lenses and the other is an ironic mutational warning to the whole of Yuppie-land regarding the over-use of mobile phones.

There are some stories which don’t quite work out, such as The Pig’s Nose by Chris Kenworthy which had a very unfulfilling ending. Okay, it was written fairly smoothly but I found the plot to be so subtle that I couldn’t really find it and the same could be said for The Little Red Car with L-Plates on by David Logan. All the way through it looked as if it ought to be going somewhere good but then it suddenly finishes leaving you a little disorientated.

Peeping Tom is consistently impressive and features some great fiction.