Coded Signals; On the Edge; Hidden Turnings
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The illustration on our cover is taken from Stories for Children by Oscar Wilde, illustrated by P J Lynch, 0 7500 0302 2, £10.00 (see Fairy Tale Favourites). The book is published by Simon & Schuster and we're grateful to them for help in using this illustration.
Dennis Hamley's collection of eight tales contains five previously published, but revised for this edition. All have an eerie, supernatural twist. They should intrigue supernatural addicts who require a change from the run-of-the-mill.
Aidan Chambers' compilation of eight original stories with a crime and murder twist is an impressive and very readable bunch that I found most enjoyable. Margaret Mahy's 'Local Knowledge' was unerringly clever; John Gordon's 'The Steel Finger' coolly and calmly sinister; and Robert Westall's 'The Trap' an intriguing revenge piece. Most of the main characters are adult, which might commend this collection to an older readership.
Hidden Turnings contains twelve tales that take the reader 'through time and space'. It's the least thematically precise of the three titles, but a feast for readers who like their imaginations tickled into over-drive. Some stories re-work older ones - 'Ceres Passing' by Tanith Lee; others are close to reminiscence - 'Fifty-Fafty' by Robert Westall (again!); 'The Sky Sea' (Helen Cresswell) is whacky and 'Turntables of the Night' (Terry Pratchett) darkly amusing.