World’s Collider: A Shared-World Anthology edited by Richard Salter. Book review

WORLD’S COLLIDER: A SHARED-WORLD ANTHOLOGY edited by Richard Salter, Nightscape Press, p/b, £9.28/£2.66 Kindle edition

Reviewed by Katy O’Dowd

In the near future, an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider causes an enormous explosion, known as the Collision. Over the next decade, unspeakable horrors pour from the rift. This onslaught of terror causes the collapse of civilization and threatens to wipe humanity from the planet.

Believe me when I say this book is awesome. There aren’t enough different words for the word love to let me tell you how much I loved it. The concept, the writing, the mash-up of horror, sci-fi and fantasy, the tying together of the narrative throughout the book which is so superbly done. Beauteous to behold this strange, horrible-yet-vibrant new world.

Special mentions to Nicholas Blake who made me cry, and to Steven Savile with Steve Lockley who brought all the threads together so wonderfully in the penultimate story.

James Moran’s ‘Inversions’ introduces us to Scott Fletcher – the only man in the world who knows that it is going to end. A blogger keeps track of the beginning of the end in ‘Keep Calm And Carry On Part One’, by David N Smith and Violet Addison. Kelly Hale’s ‘The Rise And Fall Of The House Of Ricky’ features a designer whose clothes people are dying to be seen in.

A lethal gas is no laughing matter in ‘Keep Calm And Carry On Part Two’ (the same authors wrote parts one to four). Joseph meets himself in an alternate reality in Aaron Rosenberg’s ‘Displacement’; while in Part Three of the Keep Calm stories, the impact of the catastrophic events continues to be felt.

‘The Coming Scream’ by Simon Kurt Unsworth features Scott, fighting against an audible entity. Paul Pearson’s ‘Doors’ is a creeping psychological horror where sanity battles to keep the upper hand. Scott’s chances rest on a woman whose mother’s love knows no bounds in Pete Kempshall’s ‘Closure’.

Bugs from the rift terrorise a desert bar in ‘Black Closure’ by Trent Zelazny. Dave Hoskin’s ‘Collisions’ sees Joseph allow an intruder into his mind. Nicholas Blake’s ‘What Little Boys Are Made Of’ is a heartrending story told from a six year old boy’s point of view.

Dave Hutchinson’s ‘Beyond The Sea’ made me laugh out loud within its opening lines of Death Metal and Rogers and Hammerstein show tunes. In ‘Caught’ by Elise Hattersley, we are in the web of the riftspider; while Colin rides the never-ending railway in Jonathan Templar’s ‘Basher’.

Rats are caught in a trap by earthly angels in Meg Moore’s disturbing ‘Lead Us Not’. Jordan Ellinger’s ‘The Last CEO’ features the fixers vs the Queen gasbag. And there is bird-watching of a riftly kind in Richard Wright’s ‘Twitchers’.

Steven Savile and Steve Lockley’s ‘Lost Souls’ features an epic showdown when the lost souls within the rift collide with the four keepers of the earth. Part Four of the Keep Calm series brings us to a chilling end.

Go buy this book. You won’t regret it.


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