Issue 2 (September 1988)
82 Pages in total

Fear Fiction:
Uzzi - Brian Lumley
– 5 Pages
Miles Clayton is a wealthy dealer in fancy liqueur chocolates.  Whilst driving around Holzminden in Germany to visit a small family firm specialising in dark chocolate brandies, Clayton accidentally hits a young girl who suddenly appears in the middle of the road; just inside the built-up area of Hexenstadt (translated as witch town).  With her few final breaths, the girl speaks of this being the end of her as well as the end of Uzzi.  Thinking that Uzzi is a pet cat or dog, Clayton promises to look after little Uzzi for the dying girl.  However, once the dead girl is carted away by the authorities, Clayton decides that someone else will no doubt look after Uzzi instead.  But if Clayton had known the truth about Uzzi, he would never have made such a promise to the girl.  And now his very sanity is in question...

Written in the first-person-perspective and neatly bookended with Claytons psychiatrists view on the whole affair, Lumleys eerie tale utilises a Clark Ashton Smith era atmosphere.  The short quickly captures the reader into the tense grasp of the suspense-fuelled storyline, injecting sparks of insight into what is really behind the strange occurrences that are troubling our principle character.  Lumley ends the tale on an amusing little twist, laced with a good helping of black comedy.  All in all, the short is a magnificent little escapade of creepy tension, mixed with some truly gut-churning moments of the vile and obscene.  For its length, it's incredible how much tension Lumley has managed to pack into this eerie short.

A Quarter To Three... – Kim Newman – 2 Pages
Late one night in the 24hr fish restaurant, ‘Cap’n Cod’s 24 Hour Diner, located on the seafront of the small dying town known locally as the ‘Mouth, a heavily pregnant young girl of perhaps 16 or 17 years of age walks in.  She orders, drinks and waits for the father of her child to arrive.  He won’t be long, because he hasn’t far to come...

Written in the first-person-perspective, this surreal little short successfully captures the eerie atmosphere of the sleazy fish diner perfectly.  With the jukebox churning out one classic hit after another into the otherwise deserted diner, the backdrop for the short allows the reader to believe that almost anything could come walking through the doors next.  Our principle character and narrator is likable and jocular throughout, as he relays the bizarre situation to the reader with a healthy slab of surreal comedy.  The short is very lovecraftian, not only in its fishy finale, but also with its unnerving delivery.  All in all, the tale is a glorious homage to the creepy history of horror literature.

Guilty Party – Stephen Laws – 6 Pages
Returning from an office Christmas jaunt to a couple of country pubs located around the outskirts of Newcastle, an intoxicated Stuart is accidentally dropped off by their hire-bus at the wrong stop.  As the bus pulls away, Stuart finds himself in the middle of nowhere, his only indication at his location being a sign declaring that the isolated Crowfast Farm is only 2 miles away.  Upon making his way in the direction of the farm, Stuart realises that he is being followed by someone (or something) in the dark shadows of the hedge-way.  Taking on a brisk pace, Stuart narrowly escapes a sudden and ferocious attack from the stalker.  Glimpses of his attacker in the moonlight reveal what looks to be a werewolf.  But with Stuart now hurtling towards Crowfast Farm, will its sanctuary really provide the protection that Stuart seeks?  For tonight of all nights its occupants are expecting the long-awaited arrival of a very special visitor...

Stephen Laws’ suspense-heavy werewolf tale takes the reader on a tense adrenaline fuelled dash for safety, homing in on our inherent fears of prowlers lurking in the dark.  Stuart’s desperate attempts at getting to the Crowfast Farm are depicted with such enthusiasm for the sheer horror of the situation.  The pulse is racing as Laws throws open the doors of the farm; in itself, throwing open the doors to a whole new horror that awaits us.  This bizarre and unnerving new situation is detailed with an abundance of care in delivering the eerie atmosphere that is required.  The revelations of Stuart’s predicament and the entire twist behind it are well interlaced with the unfolding storyline.  Nothing seems forced or simply ‘fitted in’.  The end result is a monstrous tale that races at a mile-a-minute, delivering heart-racing action, deep-seated fear and an altogether unnerving atmosphere.  A truly inspired piece of short horror fiction.

Pro-Files:
James Herbert – Haunted By Success
– 4 Pages
“James Herbert tells John Gilbert the strange story of his latest hardback novel, HAUNTED, of his incredible success, and of the often overlooked motivations behind his horror stories.”

Clive Barker – Babel’s Child – 3 Pages
“Going from dole queue to champion of multimedia horror, Clive Barker was no child prodigy.  But in the first half of a two-part interview Clive admits to Mark Salisbury that he’s always had a wild imagination.”

Dean R Koontz – The Genre Trap – 3 Pages
“Horror, fantasy, science fiction; publishers’ categories can be the bane of a writer’s life.  Dean R Koontz, American author of WATCHERS and LIGHTNING, shows FEAR’s Stanley Wiater how he evaded the genre tags and became a bestseller.”

Ramsey Campbell - Hungry For Horror – 2 Pages
“Are the best horror writers also fans?  John Gilbert puts the maxim t the test in the second part of his interview with award-winning British novelist Ramsey Campbell.”

Christopher Fowler – I Don’t Breathe Anything I Can’t See – 4 Pages
“A child of the dirty city streets, Christopher Fowler draws on the ‘great smoky wen’ for inspiration.  His latest novel is published early in October and Stan Nicholls talked to him about why he hates cows and what excites him about roofs.”

Sheri S Tepper – Image Of The Storyteller – 2 Pages
“A golden vision of hope?  Science fantasy authoress Sheri Tepper believes that pessimism within some of today’s fantasy and horror can lead to dire consequences for the young.  She talks to John Gilbert about the upbeat philosophy behind her books.”

Shaun Hutson – The Killing Stroke – 3 Pages
“Has Shaun Hutson, Gore Guru and Grand Master of Graphic Violence, changed his style?  John Gilbert met him at the London locations of his new novel, ASSASSIN, and discovered an enigma within a block of concrete.”

Phenomena:
Dead Or Alive?
– 4 Pages
“With THE BELIEVERS, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART II and THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, Voodoo and its zombie slaves are once again rampaging through British cinemas.  Philip Nutman digs up the grave dirt and proves that for clichés there really is life after death.”

Tales Of A Lonely Scriptwriter (How To Make A Movie: Part Two) – 2 Pages
“Everyone’s at it these days, but scriptwriting is still a delicate balance of art and technique.  John Gilbert passes on some tips for the budding practitioners of cinematic surgery in the second of his series on movie-making.”

Stephen King: The Dark Tower Mythology – 3 Pages
“Stephen King has a well kept secret which Sphere Paperbacks intends to expose with the publication of THE DARK TOWER 1: THE GUNSLINGER.  FEAR’s Paddy McKillop scoops the publisher and reveals the mysteries of the Dark Tower.”

The Fear Factor:
Jonathan Ross – Ross In The Raw
– 2 Pages
“Cult television personality Jonathan Ross gives Philip Nutman the dosh on his fears, his love of horror fiction, and his ever-expanding comic book collection.”

Book Reviews:
Haunted – James Herbert
Interzone: The Second Anthology – David Pringle, John Clute & Simon Ousley
Swords And Sorceress II – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Lords Of The Middle Dark – Jack L Chalker
The Mask Of Cthulhu – August Derleth
The Trail Of Cthulhu – August Derleth
The Zenda Vendetta Simon Hawke
The Player Of Games – Iain M Banks
Weaveworld – Clive Barker
A Malady Of Magicks – Craig Shaw Gardner
Space Ranger – Isaac Asimov
Pirates Of The Asteroids – Isaac Asimov
Swamp Thing: Volume Six – Alan Moore
Wildwood – John Farris
Why Not You And I? – Karl Edward Wagner
Alfred Hitchcock’s Book Of Horror Stories Number 8 – Alfred Hitchcock
The deluge Drivers – Alan Dean Foster

Film Reviews:
Phantasm II - Directed by Don Coscarelli
Poltergeist III - Directed by Gary Sherman
The Running Man - Directed by Paul Michael Glaser
Return Of The Living Dead Part II - Directed by Ken Wiederhorn
Dead Heat - Directed by Mark Goldblatt
976-Evil - Directed by Robert Englund
Maniac Cop - Directed by William Lustig
The Lost Boys - Directed by Joel Schumacher
Maximum Overdrive - Directed by Stephen King
Prison - Directed by Renny Marlin
HP Lovecraft’s: The Unnamable - Directed by Jean-Paul Ouellette
The 13th Floor - Directed by Chris Roach
The Witches Of Eastwick - Directed by George Miller
Close Your Eyes And Pray - Directed by Skip Schoolnick


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