Low Res Scan: Flower of Scotland Volume 3, William Meikle, 2020.
It’s a Low Res Scan because I’ve already reviewed the following stories: “The Just One” and “The Inuit Bone”.
The Flower of Scotland chapbooks show Meikle at his most varied and into areas you wouldn’t expect if you just read his novels..
For instance, “Out with the Old” is a post-apocalypse story set in 2062. It’s a rather feudal world. No surprise there. That’s not uncommon in such stories. But what if your feudal lord is a vampire? Should you really honor your obligations to him? This one ends on a memorably grim note.
Meikle’s work generally does not have a lot of explicit sex in it. (I’m not applauding that or objecting to it. I’m just noting it.) “A Siren’s Song”, set on the island of Skye, is a definite exception. A man meets a mermaid on the beach and has sex with her. The consequences are not good though the story was not clear enough for me.
“Paved with Good Intentions” is a thematic companion to “Too Many” I reviewed in the previous post. This time it’s a writer, author of Best Tales of the Apocalypse 2 no less, who goes to Hell and ends up reliving his life’s unpleasant events. There’s a nice bit about bureaucrats and accountants in Hell.
“Smarter” is Meikle’s takeoff on alien abductions. The aliens in this one aren’t particularly bright.
“Flickers” is kind of a metaphor for alcoholism. Our protagonist Dave is an English teacher and a drunk who begins to have visions of a nasty creature.
“There’s Always a Catch” is a horror tale interesting in its imagery and conceit. Thuggish Alison Todd is sent to a reform school run by nuns. She makes repeated attempts to escape and is reeled back each time. Literally reeled back on hooks and fishing lines. Nice punchline at the end too.
And what would a Meikle collection be without a Derek Adams tale? No magic or monsters in “1, 2, Go!” Adams is given plenty of money to help a college professor kill his wife or bad things will happen to him and Adams. He knows. He’s invented a time machine. A clever time travel story.
As with the preceding Flower of Scotland chapbooks, definitely worth reading, especially at the price of 99 cents.