HERE BE DAEMONS by Basil Copper


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Subtitled Tales of Horror and the Uneasy. . . but a more apt subtitle might be Squibs of the Botched and Derivative. Unless you are absolutely new to horror fiction, there's little to recommend in this bland collection of nine yawn-raisers. ""Old Mrs. Cartwright"" takes her yellow-eyed, 13-year-old nephew Lionel to the Zoological Gardens, where he has a good time with the big cats and later attacks her and tears her tongue out. In ""The Knocker at the Portico,"" a middle-aged scholar with a young wife is driven mad by a loud doorknocker ringing in his brain and by thoughts of being cuckolded by a Dr. Spiros. (When we discover that he's in a madhouse run by Spiros, we vividly recall this same effect from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.) ""The Way the World Died"" is science-fictionesque, with a peaceful country building itself an underground world and fantastic armaments by which it knocks out all the warring countries on the surface; and the novelette ""The Great Vore""--about a gigantic sea-beast worshipped in satanic, obscene rites--is painfully reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft, especially his ""The Horror at Red Hook."" Here be no demons at all, then, just a smattering of hand-me-down devices from Lovecraft, Poe, and others.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1978
Publisher: St. Martin's