Ginger Nuts of Horror
With this collection, Amber Fallon proves she is a worthy new voice to be keeping an eye on. If you read her novella, The Terminal, last year then you know she can deliver the pulpy horror goods. And with this years novella, The Warblers, she showed off her skills at coming-of-age-with-a-slight-bizarro chops. Now she's dropped a short collection in our laps and it's a damn good one.
TV Dinners From Hell offers seventeen courses in its nifty foil tray so I hope you've got a healthy appetite. The book opens with an introduction written by Mary SanGiovanni, a fantastic writer whom you should be reading. After this we peel back the foil, let the steam roll away and prepare to dig in.
"Night Music" is a unique tale about a strange epidemic with even odder symptoms. I really like this one and can't say more without spoiling its impact. "The Donor" is a story of choices and consequences only forced through a ghastly surreal filter. "Pretty Pretty Shiny" is a story about a quarrel of over a shiny object and squirrels.
"Behind The Smile" is one of the most effective stories in the book, touching on that early Stephen King vibe and I'm not just saying that because it features a scary clown. "78154" is a zombie story. A damn cool zombie story and the fact it's set primarily in the loo wins bonus points. "The Glen" teaches us that not all pretty and dainty things are good. Sometimes they can be most dangerous. "Something Bit Me" is a flash piece that will leave you squirming. While "Tequila Sunrise" is a surreal trek through desert heat. While "Dawn Of The Death Beetles" is the effective origin story to accompany her novella The Terminal--I mean it has barbarians and giant bugs so what's not to love?!
"The Shark That Ate Everything" is about, well a giant shark that eats a lot of things. "Demolition Derby" is about the titular sport but with a few ghastly twists and turns. "Blind" is a tale of a blind girl trapped in her apartment while something terrible seems to be happening to the world. "Tell Me How You Die" is the old movie Badlands, Kit Carruthers was psychic. "Clickers In Space" concerns those malevolent monsters from the Williams/Keene/Gonzalez world set in anew atmosphere...or lack there of. "Odessa" involves a lonely man and what happens when he tries to reconnect with a lost loved one. "The Dick-Measuring Contest At The End Of The Universe" is a darkly satirical exercise in the art of one-upsmanship. The final tale and it suits this time of year, "Ornamentation" is a somber short about a lonely man, I'm just going to leave it at that.
Fallon writes with a sure style and assured voice. She knows what she's doing and what she wants the story to convey. If you 're looking for a new voice in the genre. Give her a go.
TV Dinners From Hell is available from Fresh Pulp Press.