By F. Paul Wilson
Aftershock & Others is the 3rd choice of brief fiction by long island Times bestselling writer F. Paul Wilson, hailed by means of the Rocky Mountain News as “among the best storytellers of our times.”
The name novelette gained the Bram Stoker Award and its partners contact at the previous, current, and future—from the inflationary madness of Weimar Germany (“Aryans and Absinthe”) to disco club–era long island (“When He used to be Fab”), to the rationing of scientific companies in a grim close to destiny (“Offshore”). Wilson’s stylistic range and flexibility are on exhibit in tales that pay tribute to Ray Bradbury (“The November Game”), use a sentient killer virus as a point-of-view personality (“Lysing towards Bethlehem”), and pay unabashed homage to natural pulp fiction in yellow peril tales (“Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong” and “Part of the Game”). and eventually, Wilson treats us to his well known antihero Repairman Jack at his so much artistic: trapped in a drugstore with 4 killers (“Interlude at Duane’s”).
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Extra info for Aftershock & Others: 19 Oddities
I’m alone…for a while. And then I hear the sound I knew would come. The tile moves. A gentle rattle at first, then a long slow sliding rasp of tile upon tile. The stinking miasma from below insinuates its way into my cell, permeating my air, making it its own. Then a soft scraping sound, like a molting snake sliding between two rocks. Followed by another sound, a hesitant, crippled shuffle, edging closer. I try to get away, to roll off the cot, but I can’t move. My body won’t respond. And then I see it.
The eyes are still there, pale blue, little-girl blue, staring back at me so mournfully. They think they can break me this way, make me pay for what I did. But after all those years of marriage to Louise, I don’t break so easily. When I’m sure Hugo’s gone I inspect the rest of the food—beef patty, string beans, French fries, Jell-O. They all look okay—no surprises in among the fries like last night. So I take the wooden spoon, the only utensil they’ll let me have here, and go to the loose floor tile I found in the right rear corner.
In a way she’ll never forget. We’re even, Louise. ” Dr. Hurst says, leaning back in his chair and chewing on his pipe stem. I envy that pipe. But I’m the supposedly suicidal prisoner and he’s the prison shrink, so he gets to draw warm, aromatic smoke from the stem and I get pieces of Marion on my food tray. “Of course she is. Louise was always a vindictive sort. Somehow she’s gotten to the kitchen help and the guards and convinced them to do a Gaslight number on me. She hates me. ” (suck…puff ) “Let’s think about this,” he says.
Aftershock & Others: 19 Oddities by F. Paul Wilson