by Robert McCammon
Cover Artist: Vincent Chong
Review by Mario Guslandi
Subterranean Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596067493
Date: 31 August 2015 List Price $80.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The new edition of Robert McCammon' s classical collection Blue World ,augmented by the inclusion of three never-before-collected stories, takes us back to the time when he still was an acclaimed horror novelist ( Swan Song, They Thirst, Usher's Passing, Stinger, Boy's Life, etc) occasionally trying his hand at short fiction.
The title novella "Blue World" addresses the difficult subject of a young catholic priest falling in love with a young porn star, while a frightening shadow of violence jeopardizes their lives. Although not always fully convincing, the story develops fairly enough, avoiding the many pitfalls that the scabrous theme would present.
Among the truly horrific stories assembled in the volume the best one seems to me "Yellowjacket Summer" is a terrifying story where those insects become the agent of an unstoppable horror taking place in a desolate country village located in the middle of nowhere.
Another excellent piece is the tense, atmospheric "Nightcrawlers" where, during a stormy evening a diner becomes the site of scary events related to a dark past in Vietnam.
"He'll Come At Your Door" is a gruesome variation on the subject of Halloween's "trick or treat", while "The Red House" is a quiet piece of supernatural horror revolving around a red house ( and its inhabitants) which brings about trouble in a gray neighborhood.
Unexpectedly the highlight of the collection is not a horror story. "Night Calls The Green Falcon" is an outstanding, delightful novelette featuring an aged actor of puplp action tv films, hunting down a serial killer. The piece is an admirable, perceptive mix of adventure, melancholy and deep sense of humanity, displaying McCammon's eclectic inspiration and heralding his subsequent decision to leave the horror scene to devote his writing to other literary genres.