The last couple of Christmases I've made a habit of reading collections of ghost stories. Having used up M.R. James and Charles Dickens, I went for something more contemporary this year, a charity collection of short stories written to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Actually Voices from the Past isn't as much a ghost story collection as the title implies, with mainly sci-fi shorts. Although some stories like Juliet E. McKenna's "The Wisdom of the Ages" and Andrew Smith's "The Lab Gang" do provide an interesting sci-fi take on the collection's title. They're among the best stories - a lot of the contributions I found a bit perfunctory, but I also liked Joseph Lidster's "Success" and Robert Shearman's grotesque "The Runt." Best of all, Paul Magrs has contributed a Brenda and Effie story, "The Curious Package." The collection ends with "The God Confusion" by Toby Hadoke, a satire on religious intolerance that's pretty effective until about halfway through, when I guessed the story's big twist ending - because I used it myself for a University piece 17 years ago. And I stole it from an episode of Red Dwarf in the first place.
December 16th, 2012
Last week's Merlin ended with Morgana definitely declaring all-out war on Camelot, for realz this time, honest. So "The Drawing of the Dark" will definitely involve massed armies of warlocks and dragons going against Arthur, and not just another lone druid titting about in the woods, right? LOL WRONG!
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