It’s time for the Cavblog’s weekly guest blog when we invite a writer to explain which book they wish they’d written. This week it’s the turn of horror author Steve Lockley…
Favourites are a tricky things. Ask me what my favourite album is and I’ll let you. Ask me again next week and the answer will be different. The same goes for films. But books are different. My top ten may change on a regular basis, but the number one; the book I really wish I’d written, is ever constant – Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.
I first read this when I was 12 or 13, just a little younger than Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway. It was the perfect age to be enthralled by the tale of the arrival of Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show, with its promises of dreams to be fulfilled and youth regained. But danger comes with it and the evil which will have to be overcome. I’ve read and re-read the book a number of times over the years, each time gaining something new from the tale, possibly because like the older characters in the book, I am looking back and sometimes wishing.
Others have followed in Bradbury’s footsteps, most notably Peter Crowther and James Lovegrove with Escardy Gap, their homage to the master; Tom Monteleone’s The Magnificent Gallery and to a certain extent Stephen King’s Needful Things. All of them great reads but none of them quite capturing that same sense of wonder
I first came across the book by accident having foolishly decided to work through all the books in the junior section of my local library which had the red dot on the spine denoting SF and Fantasy. I had finished the last of the Asimov’s they had in stock. In hindsight it may not have been the best way to explore a library but it meant discovering a lot of authors I might not otherwise have come across. It wasn’t that long though before I had moved onto the adult section because I had read all the red dotted books. I’ve tried to re-read some of the other books I loved back then but none of them still holds that same magic.
Steve Lockley is the writer of countless short stories and two novels, The Quarry and The Ragchild, both written with Paul Lewis. His latest chapbook, Missing – A Sally Reardon Supernatural Mystery, co-written with Steven Savile is now available as an ebook. Steve has just launched a new blog.