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No Sharks in the Med
Brian Lumley
Subterranean Press, 320 pages

Brian Lumley
Brian Lumley was born in 1937 at Horden, England. He has written horror and fantasy since the late 1960s. Retiring from the British Army in 1980, he became a full-time writer. His work includes the Necroscope series of novels. Lumley's short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies and has often been selected for volumes of The Year's Best Horror. His story, "Fruiting Bodies," won the British Fantasy Award.

Brian Lumley Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Titus Crow: The Burrowers Beneath and The Transition of Titus Crow
SF Site Review: The House of Doors
SF Site Review: Titus Crow: The Clock of Dreams & Spawn of the Winds
SF Site Review: Singers of Strange Songs: A Celebration of Brian Lumley

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

No Sharks in the Med With a prolific literary career spanning over forty years, Brian Lumley is one of the most famous and celebrated contemporary horror writers, whose Lovecraftian tales and vampire Necroscope novels (just to mention a few examples) represent true genre milestones.

Subterranean Press, which has been reprinting a substantial portion of Lumley's short fiction, offers now a collection of his twelve "best," or at least, more widely known, macabre tales.

British Fantasy Award-winning "Fruiting Bodies" is a great, frightening story where a village by the sea is gradually invaded and destroyed by a deadly, mysterious fungus while the nightmarish "The Whisperer" revolves around a disquieting, evil dwarf able to ruin a man's quiet life.

In the suspenseful, quite disturbing title story "No Sharks in the Med," a newlywed couple has to face unknown intruders on a Greek island and in the tense "The Viaduct" two boys seeking adventure by climbing a dangerous viaduct get involved in an unexpectedly terrifying experience.

"The Man Who Killed Kew Gardens" is a tale of botanical horror with the size of a cosmic tragedy and a touch of Lovecraftian terror, while "The Pit-Yakker" depicts a young man's shattered dreams in a context of ignorance and mockery.

Lumley's eclectic character is shown by a couple of stories imbued with dark humour: "The Disappearance of Jeremy Cleave," where a man's overwhelming jealousy haunts his widow from beyond the grave and "The Luststone," a dark tale endowed with a nice twist in the tail.

This collection not only constitutes a well deserved tribute to one of the grand masters of dark fantasy but also provides the opportunity to taste once again the narrative style of the golden era of horror fiction, where overt sex and grand-guignolesque tableaux were not necessary elements to create effective, unsettling atmospheres of dread and terror.

Copyright © 2012 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.

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