Ginger Nuts of Horror
This is a hard novella to characterise, it's not horror, even though it does contain elements of otherwordly cosmic terror. In some ways it shares a lot of common ground with Gary's The Respectable Face of Tyranny an excellent novella from Spectral Press. Both of these publications are as much about relationships within families and the fears associated with modern life.
Emergence introduces us to recently bereaved pensioner Jack, and his Grandson Paul, who has come to stay while his mother has to work away from home. While staying at his grandfather's they encounter strange perfectly formed cones on the beach next to Jack's house. These cones are the precursors to an otherworldly encounter that the pair of them will never forget.
Gary Fry is one of those writers who has a rare talent in being able to reach down to that little part of my brain that governs my heart strings and manages to pluck them like a virtuoso harp player. Emergence is a beautifully crafted tale that after a few paragraphs is going have you wondering where you put that box of tissues.
The interplay and description of the relationship between Jack and his grandson is a joy to read. The warmth of a loving relationship shared between the two of them will bring a smile to your face. However this is tinged with a subtle sense of sadness as both of them struggle with reading. Paul's struggle is down to being dyslexic, something to which I can sympathise with. It's Jack's struggle, though that brings the biggest tug of the heart strings, for he is a retired English teacher who may be struggling with the first stages of dementia. Jack's struggle with this and his struggle with modern technology is moving read, and Gary does an excellent job of keeping the reader believing that this story is not going to end well.
By the time the pair of them encounter the strange cones in the sand you will so heavily invested in these two characters, that you will genuinely feel concern as to where this story will take them. As to where id does, I'll leave that for you to find out.
Emergence showcases an author who is able to craft a moving, and intelligent story, that captures both the readers imagination and heart