It is perhaps fortuitous that Ben Hervey’s BFI Film Classics: Night of the Living Dead monograph has been republished in 2020. Not only was this the year when we most needed stories about the failure of systems we have trusted implicitly, but it was also the year that The Living Dead, a novel by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus, was published by Tor Books.
It goes without saying that the majority of S. T. Joshi’s critical work is of great value. His fictional output is also worthy of consideration. Joshi’s Assaults of Chaos (2013, Hippocampus Press) was quite a charming novel, I thought, even though Joshi allowed his authorial voice to be overwhelmed by realistic pseudo-quotes from his (usually historical) characters a bit too much. The stories collected in The Recurring Doom (2019, Sarnath Press) are also fine weird fare, with “Some Kind of Mistake” being a stand-out tale that deserves to be collected again elsewhere. I am, however, less impressed with Joshi’s Something from Below (2019, PS Publishing). This novella, while tightly plotted and, strictly speaking, mostly well-written, is nowhere near as satisfying as Joshi’s other fictional work.