NIGHT VISIONS 2 by Charles L.--Ed. Grant


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More all-new, frequently weightless tales of the horror/dark fantasy school: three apiece from David Morrell and Karl Edward Wagner, and six from Joseph Payne Brennan. Leading off, Morrell offers standard yarns about: a mad old man who whacks paperboys with a hammer; a voodoo football mascot that really works; and a young rock musician's obsessive, ultimately too successful identification with a dead James Dean-ish actor. Brennan's largely trivial contributions: some hostile New England elementals; a man's ex-mistress kills herself, only to return as a repulsive ghost; a man whose backyard is haunted by an evil witch turns into a beast; a Victorian street, untouched by time, whose entry qualification is death; the ghost of a wicked woman who murdered the orphans in her charge causes problems in the here-and-now; also, in a somewhat more ambitious vein, a desert-wandering female warrior comes upon an oasis maintained by a hungry spider-like alien. Finally, from Wagner: a junkyard Angel of Death; an aging actress' alter ego murders her greatest fan; and an odd longer tale that can't decide whether to be a ghost story or a murder mystery, and ends up merely confused and unconvincing. Fluent but trite variations for the most part, then, with no real frights, shudders, or surprises. Contributing to the general tedium is the lack of atmosphere, scary or otherwise. Still, those who took pleasure in last year's entry will probably want to investigate.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Dark Harvest (P.O. Box 48134, Niles IL 60648)