In a collection that combines the imagination of Richard Matheson's Twilight Zone contributions, the macabre fun of Stephen King's Creepshow tales, and the almost-childishly cruel final twists of Tales from the Crypt, William Vitka invites us to join him in the fun that is The Space Whiskey Death Chronicles.
This a collection of stories both sad and sadistic, both fun and frightening, with endings that are often as horrid as they are humorous. You know Vitka is leading you down some dark hallways, but you can never quite anticipate what lies around that final shadowy turn.
The Dangers of Field Work is a perfect kick-off for the collection, a story that initially seems to be a grim bit of science-fiction, but which reveals itself to be something very different. On The Rocks actually is a chilling tale of hard science-fiction, with an ending that honestly surprised me, while Smalley's Smirk is a rather clever tale, dealing with broken down sex-robots and electronically transmitted STDs, that worked better than the basic premise suggests.
Hell Of A View was a creepy tale of one Halal vendor's desperate race to be reunited with his family before the apocalypse hits its peak. The Boneyard is, perhaps, the most Twilight Zone-like stories of the entire collection, an homage (of sorts) to one of Matheson's classics. The Thing In The Tunnel is a great slice of horror about the gruesome horror that lie within the tunnels deep underneath New York City, while Jack The Ripper, Saviour Of Humanity may prove to be just that.
Janitors Of The Cosmos is one of the smartest tales in the collection, in which two young men must hunt down and kill a god if they are to save the world, and would have made for a fitting final entry - except, of course, Vitka has to go all b-movie crazy with the gremlins in Best Friends Forever - Whether You Like It Or Not.
Just an all-around fun read, perfect for anybody who has fond memories of Rod Serling, the Creep, and the Cryptkeeper. Check it out.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins