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STRANGE WEATHER

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Joe Hill Gollancz

After his epic end-of-the-world opus, The Fireman, Joe Hill wanted to get “lean and mean” – hence Strange Weather, four short novels in one big book. The son of the most prolific writer in the world, Stephen King, Hill has inherited his dad’s love of the weird and wacky. The first story, ‘Snapshot’, plays out like a Twilight Zone episode involving a camera that steals memories. ‘Aloft’ is an otherworld­ly tale of being cast adrift on a living cloud, while ‘Rain’ is a blackly comic apocalypti­c horror show, complete with a tweeting POTUS with tiny hands.

The longest story here,

‘Loaded’, is as taut and terrifying an indictment of America’s gun laws as you’re likely to read this year – “I want a gun that speaks American and looks like it was built to make holes in school buses.” Hill’s writing is accessible, often insightful and frequently hilarious, such as his memorable descriptio­n of a bathrobe as “like wearing an Ewok.” Excellent stuff.

JOHN WALSHE

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