Sunday, September 16, 2007

INSTINCT by Mark Anderson

This is the first short story in an anthology from the Yahoo! group called THE PARASITORIUM. It is the second volume pf short horror fiction from the group, called PARASITIC SANDS.

It's the story of a group of three guys who go to the beach for an annual event, watching as instinct takes over, and there's a mass exodus into the ocean, where dead bodies start piling up. Human bodies. People are driven to go to this particular beach, and jump off the dock and into the ocean.

Of course, it's not a story about the annual event, but rather, about the three young men who go to the beach to watch it.

Apparently, the title says it all. There's no mention of what instinct drives these people to the beach, only the carnage and the guys sitting, drinking beer, and talking among themselves.

The end of the story, though... Well, I'll leave that for the reader. The image is actually rather funny.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

[Review] GOBLIN HERO by Jim C. Hines

Goblin Hero
by Jim C. Hines.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: DAW (May 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0756404428
ISBN-13: 978-0756404420

No sane goblin wants to be a hero. They usually wind up dead.

Then again, since when has sanity ever stopped a goblin?

Jig Dragonslayer, for instance. He's not insane. Then again, he's a runt. He also admits, freely, that he's no hero. Still, he's the voice on Earth for the god Tymalous Shadowstar, and he can heal goblins, hobgoblins, and even ogres.

Speaking of ogres...

The events in Goblin Hero take palce one year after the first book, Goblin Quest. One year after the events in the preceding book, an ogre comes to Jig for help. It seems that his family's been enslaved by something. Now, orges are the biggest, baddest, and smartest (at least, compared to most goblins) creatures in the mountain. Jig's a runt. Still, with TS on his side...

What do you do when your people's leader wants you dead (though not overtly), because she fears you as a political rival? Or when an ogre comes seeking your help, because he's under the erroneous impression that you actually killed a dragon?

Jig never wanted to be a hero.

For that matter, no sane goblin wanted to be a hero.

Goblin heroes tend not to live for a very long time, you see. They charge into battle without thinking, always getting themselves killed.

Regardless, Jig has survived being a goblin hero for one, whole, year, since the events in Goblin Quest. Jig Jig doesn't think of himself as a hero. For one thing, he's still alive, which proves it to him.

The scrawny, bespectacled goblin was not even that much of a warrior, really, so why did everyone seek him out under the mistaken impression that he was?

Of course, this time, Jig has competition, in the form of a fledgling goblin wizard and hero wanna-be named Veka.

Veka is an unusually large goblin who some call "Vast Veka" behind her back, and sometimes even to her face. When Jig doesn't want to take her on as his apprentice in magic and heroism ("binding spell", indeed!) Veka sets off on her own, though on a parallel course to Jig. She recruits a "heroes' sidekick" she calls Slash, for the scar on his face. Not that Slash is all that interested in side-kickery. Veka tricked him into coming along, you see. Oh yes, Slash is a hobgoblin, and not on friendly terms with goblins.

Enemies make for strange bedfellows, but Jig's the one who, er, has to "get Jiggy" with it, and unite both goblin and hobgoblin, if he wants to defeat the enemy. Remember the Necromancer from the past book? Well, there was only one of him...

Oh, and keep an eye on Smudge, too. For one, he actually doesn't die in this book. For another, he gets to... Nah, I don't want to give too much of the story away, do I?