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BJ: A Supernatural Horror Story
Kimile Aczon
Universal Publishers, 260 pages

BJ: A Supernatural Horror Story
Kimile Aczon
Kimile Aczon took 5 years to write BJ, her first novel. She is a fan of the supernatural, occult, and horror, as well as The X-Files. Her favourite books include The Stand by Stephen King, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, and Parable Of The Sower by Octavia Butler.

Kimile Aczon Website
ISFDB Bibliography
Universal Publishers

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Lisa DuMond

To look at the cover, you would never know that BJ is one of those rarest of books. What you hold in your hand is a horror story that is strong on plot and character development. You have found a book that reaches out to every reader with a feeling of community and family. And, in a genre dominated by white, male authors, it is a momentous debut for a talented African-American woman.

Most important: it is a damn good read. With a subtle message.

Something happened at 12:42 p.m., on the 6th of September. Actually, many things happened and life changed forever for some people at that exact instant.

Denise and Wesley Johnson have just become pregnant, at possibly the worst time; the Johnson's finances have hit bottom and another mouth to feed isn't going to make things easier. Especially, a mouth that Denise is not even convinced she wants. Living in the projects of King's Mansion is not where they had planned to be at this point, but just being there is going to bring them closer to some others who were affected on that September Day.

Just a few streets down, Mrs. Wilda Elvers (one of the most interesting and appealing characters to come along in many years) is not having such an easy time, either. When her tired, old heart stopped at that moment, though, she gained something astonishing: the lost sight in her eye and a sight that reaches out to other places, other minds.

For more than a year, Troy Shadale has not uttered a word, not since witnessing the brutal slaying of his mother on the street. But, on that September afternoon, he receives a vision and the return of his speech.

There is Father Ulimwengu, who will travel from Africa to play his part in the drama. A "John Doe" by the name of Donald Hemmingway will regain his sanity and awaken from a coma to search for King's Mansion. Nurse Vera Hicks will walk away from her safe life to join the quest.

But, there is a more sinister traveller on its way, stopping at nothing to thwart the others' plans.

Along the way, Aczon mixes in plenty of nightmarish episodes, some gory moments, and just the right, natural measure of love and lust. The mixture adds up to a believable, tense tale of good versus evil. And, without making too clean-cut a distinction between the extremes; everyone in the book has their share of sweetness and sour.  Well, not everyone; the mysterious traveller is a terrifying embodiment of evil, with a talent for spreading that around.

But, the deepest impact of BJ is in its loving portrayal of characters. To read this book is to wish to have people like these in your life, and to want to protect them from a world that doesn't always "mean well."

A hell of a story, by a born storyteller -- it's one of those books that remind you just how priceless the gift of reading is. And how precious we all are.

Copyright © 1999 Lisa DuMond

Lisa DuMond writes science fiction and humour. She co-authored the 45th anniversary issue cover of MAD Magazine. Previews of her latest, as yet unpublished, novel are available at Hades Online.

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