Triquorum II

Authors: Jason Andrew, John Travis and Liam Davies
Pendragon Press
RRP: 5.99, US $12.00
Available now

Triquorum II
is now out. If you are unfamiliar to the new series, Triquorum is a biannually published anthology containing three novellas. One of the odd things about book two, and this might just be limited to the review copies, is that the book has been printed in landscape, meaning it has more the look and feel of a manual, than a work of fiction. The completely white front cover doesn't help matters either.

Inside there are stories from three authors. The first story Fear and Loathing in Bat Country: Hunter S Thompson vs Dracula is by Jason Andrew. For the confused amongst you Thompson was a famous Gonzo journalist with a distinctive life and writing style. I mention this because if you have read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas then you are more likely to appreciate what is going on in the story. Andrew uses an approximation of Thompson's style to convey what would otherwise be a fairly pedestrian vampire tale, there's not even much to report about the plot as the story does what it says in the title. Overall not a bad story but without the Thompson angle it is surprisingly lacking in twists.

The second novella is The Monster Mash by John Travis. It's a kind of mad mishmash of Gardeners Question Time meets Day of the Triffids - ladies and gentleman we are in Quatermass territory. The story is well written from a number of the characters perspective, leading you slowly to the horror that overruns the small northern town of Acrebridge. Overall I felt that the novella was well written, with good characterisation, though I thought that the ending was a little melodramatic. That said, given the genre and its obvious influences, this may have been a deliberate choice.

The last novella is Adventures in Bed-Sit by Liam Davies, which opens with an assailant contemplating the corpse of his victim. The story is an engrossing mixture: part journey through the mind of a disenchanted madman and part literary criticism. Of the three stories here, this is defiantly the most memorable and best constructed.

So three new stories, all of which have their good point, though the writers laurels defiantly have to go to Liam Davies.

Charles Packer