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Shelf Indulgence

Books. Reviews.

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Aftermath
Chuck Wendig
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Samuel R. Delany
Jackals
Charles L. Grant

Quiet Night of Fear

Quiet Night of Fear - Charles L. Grant My random book-picker program selected two Grant books back-to-back. I'm a little surprised, especially since both books were purchased on the same order, back in the spring. It's a little eerie and strange, which is really perfect when you think about the sort of fiction that Grant tends to write.

A Quiet Night of Fear is more science fiction than horror (despite the fact that the publisher classified this as "Fantasy Horror"), and is at its heart a mystery, but it's still a bit dark. Grant did excel at horror, after all. The story is set in a future where televisions have been replaced with comunits, and androids are becoming commonplace among the rich. A well-known comunit journalist takes a vacation at a resort where a string of murders is starting to take place, and despite not wanting to get involved, she does.

The story was lacking in Grant's usual atmosphere, but it did have some good character studies. It even touches on bigger themes than I've seen in his previous works, as he looks at discrimination and profiling through the androids. As far as the mystery goes, I figured it out about halfway through the story. Maybe it was because I was already familiar with Grant's storytelling style, but it seemed obvious to me how the story would end.

The book was peppered with typos, which was annoying, but nothing was quite as bad as seeing the author's note following the novel titled the "Afterward". I can accept a few typos in a book, but some editor had to fall asleep to miss that one.

The afterword of the novel explains how the novel came to be. It's based on an award-winning short story that he was attempting to turn into a television movie, and when the deal fell through, he had enough of a new story to write a novel for another deal. It's a short book, and a quick read, and feels like a Grant novel, but it doesn't quite compare with his other works. Hardcore Grant fans should read it, just to experience a different kind of story from him, but I'm not sure I would recommend it to general readers.