By Tony Jones
“Robert McCammon’s vampire epic ‘They Thirst’ reappraised, 36 years on"
There was a lot of interest in our recent review of Robert McCammon’s The Border (2015) a fantastic mix of science fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction which is sadly currently out of print, but keep an eye out for the e-book hopefully later in the year. In light of this we are revisiting the author’s vampire classic They Thirst which was published way back in 1981 and has recently been republished in trade paperback by Subterranean Press, along with a few of his other novels. So 36 years on how does They Thirst hold up? Picking up novels from your childhood and teen years, can often be a disappointing experience as often they’re best left as memories….
REVIEW BY JOHN BODEN
2016 was truly the year of the Coming-Of-Age novella. A sub-genre that is very much my favorite. When John Skipp mentioned to me that I ought to read Nathan Carson's Starr Creek, that it was a odd twin to my own novella, Jedi Summer With the Magnetic Kid, I took it to heart and struck up a friendship with Carson. Long story shot, I got his book and tore through it an a few evenings (I mainly read at bed time) and Man, what a fun romp it is.
We open with a small group of friends plotting an excursion into the woods to take acid and explore, while they make their plans there is a more sinister plan unfolding involving a man named Puppy and revenge against a biker who wasn't very nice to him. While those two threads threaten to converge in a hostile and horrific manner, we meet two boys with a penchant for porn and the creature they discover in the woods.
Starr Creek is a veritable smorgasbord of all things glorious about growing up in the 80's: muscle cars, heavy metal cassettes, dirty magazines and junk food and probably for some drugs. Carson uses these nostalgic linchpins to hold together a wild adventure that involves alien creatures, unbridled violence and a strange commune. The writing is rich and very clearly from the heart--as the best writing should be. He has an unwavering eye for nostalgia, for the interaction between youth and adults and events, all realistically painted.
While I finished Starr Creek, wishing it were a bit longer, It had the hook baited enough that I will sign up for and read anything Carson puts out. If you've got that coming-of-age itch, Starr Creek will scratch it...and probably draw blood.
Starr Creek is available from Lazy Facist Press.
"STARR CREEK is a phenomenal weird fiction debut. Laird Barron meets Jack Ketchum in David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS. I loved it!" - Brian Keene, best-selling author of THE COMPLEX and THE RISING
"Carson is a fresh new voice in Lovecraft country, and his prose dazzles." - Wendy Wagner, author of STARSPAWN and SKINWALKERS
Starr Creek is the debut novella by Portland writer and musician Nathan Carson. Set in 1986 rural Oregon, Starr Creek features Heavy Metal teens, Christian biker gangs, and hopped up kids on 3-wheeled ATVs. They all collide when strange occurrences unveil an alien world inhabiting the Oregon woods.
BY TONY JONES
“The writer and director of ‘The Purge’ franchise turns his hand to fiction.”