Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fantasy Newsletter #25 June, 1980

In the June 1980 issue of Fantasy Newsletter, Charles L. Grant reviewed two books set in sleepy Florida towns: Michael McDowell's Cold Moon Over Babylon and Hugh B. Cave's The Nebulon. He went on to praise many aspects of Cold Moon, while The Nebulon (he thought) fell short.

“There are any number of criteria for a successful supernatural horror novel. Among them, however, are the creation of an atmospheric tension that creates in the reader a tension conducive to good fright, and characters who live, at least on the printed page. Simply giving characters names and physical descriptions isn't good enough; they have to have backgrounds, moods, feelings . . . in other words, everything you and I are made of, and then some. The best books exploit these (in the best sense of the word), and the middlin' to worst ignore them.”

In comparison to McDowell's first novel, The Amulet, he goes on to write “Babylon . . . succeeds admirably because, simply put, the man can write. Boy, can he write!” He also praises the cover art for Cold Moon stating “the cover art for Babylon is superb, a perfect rendering of the sleepy Southern community/area within.”

Quite amusingly he concludes by saying the cover art for Nebulon “should be banned . . . somebody over at Dell ought to be shot, and Cave ought to be furious.” 


  1. MORE OF THIS PLEASE! Exactly the kind of thing I love to see.

    1. I have a few more coming up! And I'm always on the lookout for ones I don't know about.