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Book review: Voices from the Past 
16th-Dec-2012 12:13 pm
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.
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