IN THE FOG by Charles L. Grant


The Last Chronicle of Greystone Bay
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 Fourth and final volume--but only the first in hardcover--of original stories about spooky doings in the Massachusetts oceanside town of Greystone Bay (The Seaharp Hotel, 1990, etc.). Here, series-editor Grant (Raven, 1992, etc.) dips into a shallow talent pool--the majority of contributors are fellow Tor-authors--to deliver seven tales, of varying quality, that mirror his taste for ``quiet'' horror. The more conscientious entries here use Greystone Bay's peculiar kind of weirdness--conducive to climatic and emotional extremes--to generate occult outrages. In the leadoff ``The Fog Knew Her Name,'' Elizabeth Engstrom imagines a spinster librarian (the one clichÇ in an otherwise fresh tale) moving into town to find the local library a sepulchral place where patrons talk only in whispers and where serious nonfiction books dominate the shelves. Greystone Bay, she learns, is ``a spiritual and emotional void''--but it's also the abode of an entity that infuses new life through sexual romance. By contrast, Craig Shaw Gardner's routine ``Warm''--the spirit of a man's abusive mom invades the body of his comatose wife--could have been set anywhere; as could have ``The Home,'' Kathryn Ptacek's melancholy tale of a forsaken nursing home, or ``Whiteface,'' Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's stylish blend of horror (were-leopard) and crime (mafia) set against a circus backdrop. Arising more organically from the town's atmospherics are two backward-looking tales--Nancy Holder's ``O Love, Thy Kiss,'' ripe with summer heat and witchcraft; and Steve Tasnic Tem's ``Ice House Pond,'' equally palpable with dread winter cold. An appropriate little coda of a ghost story by Grant (``Josie, In the Fog'') closes the collection. Not a four-star horror destination, but Greystone Bay is worth a detour by those already en route to H.P. Lovecraft's Miskatonic Valley or Stephen King's Castle Rock.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09703-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1993


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