The Gray Zone

By John R. Little
Bad Moon Books
2009; $

The follow-up to John R. Little’s award-winning novella for Bad Moon Books, Miranda, is another very solid effort. This time using the mysticism of Egypt as his background, John weaves a compelling tale of a man named Henry, who bounces back in forth in time to relive portions of his life. There are some startling revelations along the way, and the story ends very fittingly. Not a word is wasted in this interesting character study.

Little seems to have found his niche with time-travel stories. With The Memory Tree, Placeholders, Miranda and now The Gray Zone, he has shown a knack for weaving haunting, thought-provoking plots and creating strong characters around the fragile fabric of time. Miranda is still probably his strongest (with a compellingly unique backward plot), but this is another solid entry into his cannon.

One last aside: Dark Discoveries readers will likely recognize John from the pages (I’ve published three of his stories in the magazine and collections I have done). I always feel fortunate that DD was one of the first places he submitted to in his comeback a few years back. I have always liked his stories (that were featured in the pages of Twilight Zone magazine and Weird Tales back in the eighties) and was glad to see him making a go of it again. John has continually grown as a writer and will only continue to improve. If you haven’t yet read anything by him, The Gray Zone is a good place to start!

Reviewed by James R. Beach

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~ by darkdiscoveries on October 2, 2009.

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