Thursday, January 23, 2014

Samurai and Other Stories - by William Meikle - A wide variety of genre tales

4 of 5 Stars.   Review copy

All sixteen of the tales in Samurai and Other Stories have appeared elsewhere over the last several years, but are offered as a collected work for the first time and represent a fine sampling of short stories from Scottish born writer William Meikle.

If you're not yet familiar with Meikle's work you are missing out.  With twenty novels and more than 300 short stories published to date, his impressive body of work continues to grow and Samurai and Other Stories offers an excellent introduction.

This collection starts with the title story of the surviving members of a shipwrecked crew discovering a temple with riches that would more than make up for their lost cargo.   One problem, it's guarded by A powerful, unearthly Samurai.  "Samurai" is a strong start and offers up a nice twist as do many of the tales in this collection.

Some of my favorites include "Rickman's Plasma", sort of a 21st century take on the horror classic The Blob.  "Home Is the Sailor" features a walking dead scenario.  There's "Inquistor", a Lovecraftian tale from the time of the inquisition.  "The Havenhome" is a very well told story set in the early 1600s with appropriate language and a frightening adversary. But, my most favorite of all is, "The Haunting of Esther Cox," set in 1878 and told through a series of diary entries.  From one such entry, "You may not believe any good of me.  But if you believe nothing else, believe this.  I ain't a bad girl."

There were a few stories that I didn't particularly enjoy, but they were very few and It's very rare that every story in a collection will knock it out of the park.  Overall, Samurai and Other Stories is certainly worth your time and is available both as a paperback and ebook from Crystal Lake Publishers and

Highly recommended.

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