Transwarp Tuesday Terror! Blackout by Tim Curran

It was a dark and stormy night…

 

This week’s story is a novella from the publisher Darkfuse, who specialise in ‘dark fiction’. Tim Curran is best known as a horror writer, but this tale is just as much sci-fi as horror. So for one week only, welcome to…

TRANSWARP TUESDAY TERROR!

* * * * * * *

 

Blackout by Tim Curran

 

The story I’m going to tell you is about what happened after the lights went out. I’m going to tell you what happened to our beautiful green world and the people that called it home. Understand, it”s not a happy story and there is no moral. It’s not that kind of story.

blackoutThe story begins in middle-class, middle-America, as the middle-aged residents of respectable, suburban Piccamore Way get together for a little outdoor party. It’s the kind of place where nothing worse ever happens than the paperboy throwing the paper into the bushes, or old Iris Phelan turning her TV up too loud. But later that night our narrator Jon wakes with a bit of a hangover to find that a huge storm has blown up, full of strange strobing lightning. And then he discovers that his wife, Kathy, is missing. As he stumbles around in the dark and the rain looking for her, he comes across a strange snake-like thing in the garden. Calling on the neighbours to help him in his search, they begin to discover that the darkness is more than just the normal night, that more people are going missing every minute, and that the ‘snakes’ are actually something even more frightening and sinister. And then the screaming begins…

UFO

This is an alien invasion story of the school of The War of the Worlds, in that these aliens are not interested in getting to know us Earthlings – they’re just out to destroy us…for a horrible (but quite credible really) purpose that only becomes fully clear towards the end. It’s very well written with lots of scary description and plenty of suspense, Given the shortness of the book, Curran manages to develop his characters well, so that we genuinely care when they begin to meet increasingly gruesome ends. Jon himself has the survival instinct to the full, but we still get to see his grief over his wife as he becomes more aware of what has probably happened to her; and, like us, he watches in horror as one after another of his neighbours is…er…taken.

A split second after he was hoisted into the air, an orifice opened in the center of the sack. It looked like the puckering mouth of an old lady without her teeth in. The orifice irised open and I saw a bloodred orb the size of a softball that looked as juicy as a fresh cherry. It was an evil thing like the eye of a witch or a demon…

Tim Curran
Tim Curran

The rest of that paragraph becomes progressively gorier, as does the novella. Curran is very good at finding the line between telling all and leaving some of it up to the reader’s imagination, but still this is definitely not one for the faint-hearted. However, it’s very imaginative in a dark way, and the standard of writing is unusually high in a genre where style is sometimes sacrificed in the rush to get to the thrills. The horror and tension mount in tandem, so that even as you’re turning away in disgust, you can’t help looking back to see what’s happening. Personally, perhaps a bit too gruesome for me and I could have lived without some of the language, but the quality of both story and story-telling kept me hooked right up to the end nevertheless. And hasn’t helped in any way to rid me of my fears of either snakes or spiders…or, indeed, aliens…

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Darkfuse.

Little Green Men Rating: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Fretful Porpentine Rating: 😯 😯 😯 😯

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

24 thoughts on “Transwarp Tuesday Terror! Blackout by Tim Curran

  1. FictionFan – Oh, a story with a fretful little green man rating! The story actually does sound good, although I must say I’m not much of a one for gore. Still, the concept – what happens when there’s that kind of total blackout – is fascinating.

  2. Nice! But I’m so curious as to know why the aliens destroyed the human fellows!!! (This review interested me greatly, so we must mark this down as a stellar as well.)

    But I am curious to know about the snakes…what are they?

    • I’d like to tell you, but then I’d have to eat you… *shocked face* (Woohoo! I’m on a run… *smiles Woolaishly*)

      Well, imagine you were a fish in a river and you saw a little worm on a hook…

      You should read this one, you know – it’s very short and you might enjoy it…shame you don’t have a Kindle though.

  3. Ick, but good reading this review. I really enjoy reading your reviews — I think more so than trying the book(s) sometimes. At first I thought TV show “Revolution” where the electricity was gone…..however, quickly changed that as I read on. Red orbs. Juicy at that. Ugh. 🙂

  4. Snakes? Spiders? What are you trying to do to me? I need calming books – CALMING, I tell you……….(cackle, cackle). 🙂

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