UFOs and Crazy Witches
As editor of Weird Tales, I receive many books for review from publishers, but most of them are totally inappropriate for the magazine, so much so that I seriously doubt that the publicists who send them on know anything about WT.
But once in a while, something worthwhile that fits does appear, and I am happy that in the past month two such books arrived. One of them is nonfiction SF; the other is a fantasy novel.
St. Martin’s Press, which, if I remember correctly, published five of my own books, mailed WT a copy of The Presidents and UFOs by Larry Holcombe. This is a well-researched study of the American government’s cover-up of what Holcombe calls the most important scientific event in the history of the world. He traces the story through thirteen presidencies, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Barack Obama.
All of the famous UFO sightings and events are included, as well as some that are not so familiar. Holcombe read every document he could find, including official ones that are now declassified, and he interviewed many knowledgeable people, including military officers, some of whom were pleased to come forward finally and tell what they’d been told never to reveal.
Not only UFO sightings are involved, but actual landings and meeting with aliens who said that they came from Uranus. They did not, however, converse in English, but telepathically. The author also states that there has been UFO crash landings in which aliens were killed. The military on the scene buried them, and in one case fetched a local minister to conduct a funeral service for them. Since the cleric saw the bodies, he was cautioned never to reveal to anyone what he saw.
If you are a skeptic, reading this book may well convince you that extraterrestrial UFOs are real. Personally, I am not a skeptic because back in the 1950s my father and I saw a flying saucer, as they were called back then.
Witches Be Crazy by Canadian comedy writer Logan J. Hunder is one of the few fantasies that made me laugh aloud several times; the only books I can think of that did the same were And Don’t Forget to Rescue the Princess and And Don’t Forget to Rescue the Other Princess by my friend Marc Bilgrey, who does cartoons and writes stories for both WT and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, which I also edit.
Witches Be Crazy, published by Night Shade Books (a division of Skyhawk Publishing) is the story of a former blacksmith and current tavern-keeper named Dungar Loloth, a surly chap who has been known to throw customers he doesn’t like out of a second-story window – an event that is so popular townsfolk gather to watch it take place.
Called A Tale that Happened Once Upon a Time in the Middle of Nowhere, the book tells how Dungar learns from a stranger (who he tosses out the window) that an evil witch has just moved into the capital city of the country and will do what she did in a neighboring country – that is, she will totally destroy it and kill all of the people.
Dungar decides he must go to the capital city and assassinate her. Along the way he meets Jimminy Appaya, a slightly crazy chap who loves to sing, mostly making up songs that describe whatever predicament they are in. He also has a habit of getting himself killed, yet somehow coming back to life in unexplained ways. He and Dungar become good friends on their quest to kill Queen Koey, but on their journey they encounter many perils, especially those involving the wizard Rainchild Earthumper. One such dangerous adventure forces the pair to become pirates (though Jimminy takes to it enthusiastically) and try to attack a wizard tree that fights back! Eventually, they reach the capital, Jenair, where they are in for a huge surprise; indeed, I didn’t see it coming, either.
This book is enormous fun!