Within His Reach

By Steve Gerlach

Tasmaniac Publications

ISBN:978-0-9806367-1-0

$14.00 Trade Paperback

$80.00 Lettered Hardcover

 From down under comes a new novella by Steve Gerlach, Within His Reach. Known for more extreme horror in the Richard Laymon/ Jack Ketchum vein, this is quite a departure for him. This story is very much an homage to Rod Serling and his Twilight Zone television series. The introduction by William F. Nolan sets the tone by touching on his own fond memories of the show, and all of his friends who were (both major and minor) contributors to it. It’s a nice way to kick off Gerlach’s trip into the fifth dimension.

The story follows Arnold Enright, who currently resides in an iron lung in hospital after being struck down with polio. Arnold’s been there for six years and his wife left him early on with their unborn daughter – who he hasn’t seen since she was born. He’s pretty much given up hope when his doctor proposes a radical surgery. But when Arnold wakes up he gets a big surprise.

This is a well-written, touching and poignant story. Reminiscent of “Where is Everybody” in some ways, it also has the nostalgic feel of “A Stop at Willoughby”. The ending was a tad predictable – especially if you’re a fan of the original series, but you’ll still enjoy the ride. Part of the charm of TZ was exactly that – if you’ve seen a few of them you know the type of ironic, O’Henry twist endings that were part and parcel to it. Gerlach captures the spirit of the Twilight Zone, as does Alan M. Clark’s artwork. Whether you’re a fan of the show, or just like a good fantasy story, I think you’ll like this one.

– Reviewed by James R. Beach

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~ by darkdiscoveries on April 17, 2010.

One Response to “Within His Reach”

  1. Totally agree. Great review!

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