FRUITING BODIES AND OTHER FUNGI by Brian Lumley

FRUITING BODIES AND OTHER FUNGI

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Witch's dozen of 13 horror tales by Lumley (Blood Brothers, p. 630), largely mainstream with just a touch of Lovecraft in the night. The stories have all been previously printed, in Weird Tales, Fantasy Tales, etc., and a few have been anthologized. Outstanding here is the title piece, a tale that's enough to make a collection like this worthwhile, not to say must-have. It tells of an underground fungus that's eating up all the houses in a seaside English village. But not only is the dry, fibrous, papery cancer eating up the houses, the sea as well is eating up the cliff on which the village stands, at the rate of seven feet a year: only a few rot-ridden, fungoid houses are left standing, and only one ancient villager still lives there. A natural history of the fungus enriches the story.... The tales cover nearly a 20-year period in Lumley's career. The earlier stories are somewhat more densely and carefully told, if not actually precious, such as 1976's ``The Man Who Photographed Beardsley''--about a high-fashion pornographer into the post-snuff image. Though ``Fruiting Bodies'' takes the prize here, the lengthy ``Born of the Winds'' has Lovecraftian vibes that carry you forward by sheer dint of curiosity in a gigantic occult vortex of the gods in the Far North. In this, the Esqimaux's horrible God of the Wind freezes a scientist to death and impregnates his wife. Twenty years later the woman's weird son, who talks to the wind and every little breeze, returns on his own to a hugely frigid region to meet his Father, and his mother and the narrator hurry after him only to see a vast eruption in the heavy-laden air as God-Son attacks God-Father. Nice stuff--but most necessary for the title story.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-85458-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1992




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