I may as well start this with a disclaimer: I am a big fan of Kit Power’s writing. If you read my best of 2020, you’ll have seen My Life In Horror on there, which was a series of articles originally written for Gingernuts of Horror. It is an absolutely superb collection of essays on a wide range of topics, including Live Aid, Hillsborough and Robocop. I would recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in horror since the 1970s. He would also have been included for his fiction novella Godbomb! had I remembered I read it last year, but ah, my memory…
So, to his latest. I’ll keep this short: it is superb. Better, even, than Godbomb! which is no mean feat.
The basic premise is that a band has recorded a song that makes anyone who hears it tell the truth. If they don’t, then, well, they essentially haemorrhage and bleed to death. Power has a lot of fun with this concept, but it isn’t a heavy handed beat you over the head with a point kind of a story. Far from it, in fact. This is a chase story at its core, with lots of death and shocks along the way.
In that regard, it is more of a popcorn book, designed to be read quickly and tossed aside to be replaced by whatever you want to read next.
Except something else happens when you finish. Or at least it did to me. I found myself thinking about what would it mean to my life to constantly have to tell the truth. Which kid is your favourite? What do you think of your boss? What do I think of the various children I teach? Will Wales win the Rugby World Cup in my lifetime?
Remember, the answer to each of these questions has to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but on pain of excruciating death.
This elevates the novella was beyond a popcorn novel and into the realms of an excellent must read. Superb work, Mr Power, and I can’t wait for what you do next.