Well, Twitter has its uses. It was the first place I heard about this book which just missed showing up for my birthday. Given that it has a David Hambling story, I bought it immediately.
Normally, a story by him would get its own post, but this is a Cthulhu Mythos anthology from Crossroad Press, and they’ve become increasingly elaborate affairs whose independent stories – often parts of authors’ series – also form part of complicated suites and mosaics. Like Time Loopers, this one doesn’t even have a listed editor which leads me to believe it was entirely executed by its authors. In fact, I suspect it was conceived around the same time.
Review: Eldritch Prisoners, 2023.
One character in this book says, “Questions are a burden, answers are a prison”.
After finishing it, making notes, skimming parts of it again, I still feel somewhat burdened and not totally imprisoned.
Whether it’s my deficiencies as a reader or because it’s a deliberately and resolutely mysterious work, I’m not sure I completely understood what happened.
However, I can unreservedly recommend three of its four stories.
Having always meant to return to David Conyers’ Harrison Peel series after reading “The Eye of Infinity”, I was pleased to see Peel show up in Conyers’ “Broken Singularity”. It’s the oddity here, broken up into four parts, starting and ending the book and in between the stories, and often casting some dim light on their events.
Peel awakens naked from a pod to join three other people. There’s a drill-instructor like voice yelling them to get into their spacesuits and get working or the oxygen privileges will end. The work is to explore an airless planetoid and bring back information. None of the four can remember how they got there. Peel may be the primitive one here since the rest are posthumans, but his military training kicks in, and he takes command while the rest dawdle. Not that the party lasts long after seeing the oddity of a Humvee on the surface. Approaching it, it morphs, launches weapons, and reduces two of the party to cubes of their constituent chemical components.
Debriefed on the mission, he meets a woman who seems familiar. Well, part of her: a disembodied head and arm. She hints that maybe he should check out the connections on the pod he emerged from.Continue reading