Wednesday, October 25, 2017

31 Days of Halloween - Day 25

A Scent of New-mown Hay by John Blackburn

Vallancourt Books. 1958

In the realm of fungal horrors, "The Voice in the Night" by William Hope Hodgson is, understandably, the first thing that comes to mind. along with the excellent movie based on it, Matango (1963).

In 1958, John Blackburn made his literary debut as novelist with a genre crossing foray into the fungal horror sub-genre. A Scent of New-mown Hay us a rapid based espionage thriller featuring a scientist and his wife as they race against the clock to stop a potential epidemic of global devastating potential born out of a Nazi hybridization program. The program aimed to create a lethal form of mushroom that would use its spores to infect and transform human beings into mobile fungal abominations.

The novel is brisk and concerns itself more with the solving and prevention of the epidemic than it does with the shambling horrors that the spores create, but is exciting nonetheless. I'm amazed this has not been adapted for the big screen, yet.

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