25 Oct 31 HORROR STORIES — “The Autopsy” (1980)
Michael Motherfucking Shea.
I know there are Stephen King, Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison, Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison and Richard Matheson fans. And they deserve ’em, ‘cuz they’re all so good.
But Michael Shea is, in my opinion, the best horror/fantasy writer working today. It helps that he’s also one of the best WRITERS, period.
Don’t believe me? Read “The Mines of Behemoth” section of THE INCOMPLEAT NIFFT, especially the section about Nifft’s entry into Hell. Or the novella I, SAID THE FLY. Or THE COLOUR OUT OF TIME, a “sequel” to Lovecraft that H.P. would’ve been proud of.
And his short stories! “The Extra”, “The Horror on the Number 33”, and the hilarious/gory “Uncle Tuggs”. All of these are collected in a book called POLYPHEMUS, which is where I first discovered Shea back in high school. And he keeps getting better.
I’m not even saying “The Autopsy” is his best, because it’s impossible for me to choose. And I don’t want to ruin the relentless, holy-shit-this-isn’t-happening-oh-fuck-it-is horror of the story. Let’s just say it features the most heroic, and violent, method I’ve ever seen for stopping an alien invasion.
Talk to the cancer.