(Telos, £7.99, 131 pages, paperback, published 2005.)
things are happening in the English countryside. Henbury Hall, a house
that mysteriously disappeared in 1919 has now reappeared. An Army patrol
led by Major Thacker break into the house and find two men there, as
young as they were on the day they had vanished all those years before.
Had they been experimenting with a machine that could punch a hole in
time and space... and allowing other things to come here?
Anh Nguyen's cover illustration is something you may not wish to be
seen reading on public transport. It's also a little misleading, as
Simon Morden's novella isn't horror, as this would imply, but really
science fiction. It's something of a mishmash, drawing on Pertwee-era
Doctor Who and Quatermass. Unfortunately it's not really
strong enough to stand up on its own, given characterisation that doesn't
really convince (the soldier characters especially) some leaden writing
and over-convenient plotting (that alien device lying there you just
know will save the day). There's plenty of action though: with aliens
like ambulant jellyfish which explode in satisfying ways, and an ending
where Thacker goes mano-a-mano with a hugely-augmented human being.
Another War is certainly readable, but it falls short of being
anything more than that.