Back From The Dead: The Legacy of The Pan Book of Horror Stories
Selected by Johnny Mains,
Published by Noose & Gibbet, 2010.
We continue the serialised review of Back From The Dead: The Legacy of The Pan Book Of Horror Stories with another four stories including one old classic and a couple of potential new ones :-
9 – A Good Offence by Myc Harrison
The spectre of child abuse raises its ugly head in this powerful short story by Myc Harrison. A fine little tale of revenge and payback.
10 – Gallybagger by Roger Clarke
Roger Clarke’s story is set in the paranoia of post war Britain. An engineer travels to the Isle of Wight but his project soon runs into problems with local superstition and occult forces. It’s a great adventure reminiscent of a cross between John Buchan and the Wicker man.
11 – Spinalonga by John Ware
John Ware’s Spinalonga was written whilst he was seriously ill on Crete and it has an otherworldly feeling. It’s a classic ghost story in which a group of tourists stop off on the deserted Leper island, Spinalonga. Needless to say a lack of respect leads to serious consequences for one of the party. Although the plot is fairly standard the story maintains a dark aura which raises it above the norm.
12 – The Forgotten Island by Jonathan Cruise
Jonathan Cruise takes us to Solitude Island midway between the very bottom of South America and Antartica. A survey expedition comes across the logbook of missing sailor Jon Vosper. The diary tells of Vosper’s increasing difficulty surviving on the island. It’s a great story with many deliciously gory moments, recommended for everyone except cat lovers.
Spinalonga is a classic tale and rightly so but both The Forgotten Island and Gallybagger are also excellent. All three share similar themes of mysterious islands but in quite different ways. There are no weak stories in this batch. We are now nearly half way through the collection and the overall quality is extremely high. So far this is a fitting tribute to all that was great about the Pan Book Of Horror Stories.