Something From Below by S. T. Joshi
Paperback – Hippocampus Press – 2021 – 130 pages
When 22-year-old Alison Mannering returns to her home in northeastern Pennsylvania after college, she finds a troubling situation. Her father, Guy Mannering, a longtime coal miner, has died recently under suspicious circumstances, and her mother refuses to provide any details of his passing. Alison feels she has no option but to investigate the matter herself, enlisting her high school sweetheart, Randy Kroeber, as well as Randy’s twin sister, Andrea (called Andy), to assist her.
In the process, Alison and her cohorts become enmeshed in an inconceivable horror that goes back a century or more and is somehow involved with the coal mine, now controlled by the remote and enigmatic Conrad Brashear. Beyond the possibility of danger or death to herself and her friends, Alison comes to realise that what is lurking in and below the mine poses a mortal threat to the safety of the planet.
In this compelling novella, veteran scholar of weird fiction S. T. Joshi has fashioned a novella of cosmic horror that draws upon the work of Lovecraft, Hodgson, and other classic writers, but that also etches the characters of his protagonists with clarity and sensitivity. The result is a distinctive fusion of weirdness and poignancy that will leave few readers unmoved.
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