Guest Blogger Halloween Week

Halloween Week Guest Post: Graeme of Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

For Halloween Week 2009, we will be bringing you a different guest blogger each day, sharing their own Halloween Words of Wisdom and Ponderings. Today, we give you the uber-talented and supercool Graeme, of Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. A fellow book blogger and horror fan, Graeme tells us what happens…When Books Attack!

Give it up, boys and ghouls, for Graeme!


‘When Books Attack…’

Books are great aren’t they? I know I’m preaching to the converted here (well, is there anyone reading this blog who isn’t completely mad about books?) but it’s still a fact that there’s nothing better you can do with a spare five minutes than pick up a book and have a read. Books take you out of this world and into another one entirely. Books introduce you to some of the most interesting people you will ever meet and not only do you get to meet them but you also get to hang out with them and see them do the most amazing stuff. If I wasn’t writing this post then the odds are I would be reading something right now.

Books are also strange things though. Not only do they have the power to transport you into another world but sometimes a well written tale can burst right through the page and invade our own. It doesn’t happen all that often but when it does…

Let me tell you the tale of when this happened to me. If you want to hum the ‘Twilight Zone’ theme then now would probably be the best time to start…

It was a couple of years ago and the wife and I were camping in the middle of Dartmoor. Strangely enough, the weather was gorgeous (if you’ve been to Dartmoor, you’ll know what I mean) but that wasn’t the freakiest thing to happen. Things were about to get a lot freakier and it was all down to the book I was reading…

I’d found myself a copy of Robert McCammon’s short story collection ‘Blue World’ and was completely lost in this very under rated horror writer’s work. Seriously, when he’s on form McCammon is brilliant; check out ‘Blue World’ and ‘They Thirst’ (better than ‘Dracula’ in my opinion) if you get a chance. This is a guy who can get right under your skin and make your hair stand on end. The story that got to me the most was ‘Yellowjacket Summer’ where a family trip comes to an unexpected halt in a deserted town. I say ‘deserted’ but what I really mean is ‘deserted apart from a couple of people and a strange boy who can control all the hornets in the area’. I’m scared of wasps and bees so it completely freaked me out reading about the boy who goes to the toilet (in the café) and gets absolutely covered by a swarm of hornets. They don’t sting him but you know they could… The aforementioned strange boy wants the new arrivals to stay in town and he’s not afraid to use a swarm of hornets to get what he wants. The family is after a quick exit though and everything blows up in a massive stinging frenzy. The last thing the reader sees is the family heading out of town in a van that’s low on fuel and being followed by the biggest swarm of hornets that you’ve ever seen…

Yellow Jacket Summer…?

I couldn’t get ‘Yellowjacket Summer’ out of my head and I was still thinking about it when I went to for a shower the next morning. The toilet cubicles were open at the top (it was in a barn) so imagine how I felt when I heard a really loud buzzing and a hornet came to hover right over me… I couldn’t move (seriously, these things scare me to death!) and was stuck there for ages, waiting to see if the hornet decided to have a piece of me. Luckily it didn’t…

Now, life is full of little coincidences but to read a scary story about hornets and then get to see one at close quarters the very next day…? There was definitely more to this than met the eye. I was just glad that I hadn’t had a visitation along the lines of what happened in McCammon’s ‘He’ll Come Knocking at Your Door’! Read it and you’ll see what I mean…

There’s more to this world than we know and even the most innocent looking book can some back and bite you when you least expect it (if it hasn’t already, has something similar happened to you?) I hope that you enjoy whatever you’re reading this Halloween; just keep an eye out after you put the book down…


  • Harry Markov
    October 27, 2009 at 1:27 am

    I am scared by those too. I just don’t want to get stung or bitten, because it stings like hell and also it’s quite quite gross. Irony seems to have picked you for a cruel practical joke.

  • Maili
    October 27, 2009 at 2:39 am

    McCammon is brilliant; check out ‘Blue World’ and ‘They Thirst’ (better than ‘Dracula’ in my opinion)

    Word! My first McCammon is Wolf’s Hour and comparing with his other books I read later, it’s not one of his best, but it’s still superior to most traditional werewolf novels. Loved They Thirst, too. It’s up there with I Am Legend, Those Who Hunt By Night, Children of the Night (Dan Simmons), 30 Days of Night, and Fevre Dream (George R.R. Martin).

    I haven’t read Blue World yet, though, but will get my paws on a copy ASAP. 😀

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