Monday, November 14, 2016

A fungus among us


By William Meikle


Publisher: Darkfuse

Pub Date: january 17, 2016

Rating: 4  & 1/2 out of 5 stars


Horror and science fiction writers love to mess up our world. Whether it is a plague, an invasion, or some evil scientific experiment gone wrong, the weirder and more gruesome it is, the better. In Fungoid, the threat slated to destroy Earth as we know it is a little of all three. It seems to come down in the rain, then becomes a fungus that eat and invade any organism it can find. The idea of an invading organism coming down in raindrops gave me a few giggles as I thought of "Chubby Rain" in the movie Bowfinger. But once I removed that thought from my mind I was ready for the well written and seriously tense horror to be found in Fungoid. William Meikle outdoes himself in the world destroying plague department. Is the world eventually destroyed or do the humans manage to stumble through to a last minute save so they can live to fight another day. That is the dilemma in this non-stop action thriller that is part science fiction and part horror extravaganza. In novels like this, survival is never a given.

This is indeed action packed but the author does write some very good protagonists into the mix. There are four narrations going on that come together at the end. The most involving is the struggle of Dr. Rohit Patel as he attempts to find out what the fungus is and how to stop its dangerous spread. Meikle places little tidbits on fungus and plants through the book that add to our knowledge while we tense up for the battle between man and fungoid. There is also the two separate accounts of Shaun Lovatt who is trying to get back to his family, and his wife and children who are just trying to stay alive. Then there is Jim Noble, a member of a rapid response team who becomes part of the problem, All four stories fit together seamlessly. it's a graduate lesson on how to use multiple narratives to tell a larger story.

What the fungus is and how it gets here is part of the fun. The plot reminds me of a number of known science fiction disaster and invasion tales, Night of the Triffids, No Blade of Grass, and A Matter for Men being a few. Yet Fungoid is like none of them. Meikle's invading organism is both familiar and alien is its form and intention. These types of plague/invasion novels are usually fun but Meikle has made his story an especially neat treat of science fiction suspense and horror. I smell a movie in the future. Who knows? it would make a good one!

1 comment:

  1. >I smell a movie in the future.

    It is a dream I have too... glad you liked it.