Review Puts “Totmann’s Curve” in the Winner’s Circle

“I’ve only recently encountered fiction from Mr Black, it’s made a serious impact on me…”

“It’s a cracking story, distinct and engaging with a great cast of three-dimensional characters, and really evokes the 1950s atmosphere that the anthology has as its theme.”

“…deftly creates a multi-layered atmosphere of adrenaline, paranoia, ritual and family…”

“…the heart of the story is the race itself, the heart-thumping, gut-clenching, gear-crunching duels between drivers, and these are beautifully written…”

Those are a few of the choicer words I found in a review of my novella-length Mythos-tinged supernatural mystery “Totmann’s Curve” by the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer (as part of a broader review of Sockhops & Seaces, an anthology of 1950s-themed horror and supernatural tales published by 18th Wall Productions).

Koenigsburg hot-rodders park on the town square before going for a burger and a malt (actually, Kerrville, Texas)

“Totmann’s Curve” is a fast-paced tale of ghosts, teenage hot-rodding, and evil sorcerers serving dark entities set against the backdrop of the 1950s Texas Hill Country.

I have, of course, presented the entire text of the review of “Totmann’s Curve” below.    And I’ve written in-depth about the story elsewhere.  You’ll find the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer’s full review of Sockhops & Seances here.

The anthology closes with a novella-length tale from Jon Black, Totmann’s Curve. Although I’ve only recently encountered fiction from Mr Black, it’s made a serious impact on me; especially with his tale The Green Muse in The Chromatic Court, a Cthulhu Mythos anthology also from 18th Wall Productions. The background to Black’s latest story is illegal hotrod racing in the hills of a backwater Texas county, and the complex spiderweb of relations between the key drivers and racers in this small community. Black expertly develops these relationships within the various groups that exist within the racers, and deftly creates a multi-layered atmosphere of adrenaline, paranoia, ritual and family; all of which constantly blend together into a complex mishmash as races take place. Black does all of that exceedingly well, but the heart of the story is the race itself, the heart-thumping, gut-clenching, gear-crunching duels between drivers, and these are beautifully written; Black gets into the heads of the drivers, their hopes and fears, while also writing some incredibly tense racing sequences. Then there’s also the grim mystery of the titular Totmann’s Curve, and the strange girl suddenly appearing during races. To near-fatal effect to the drivers who encounter her during races. It’s a cracking story, distinct and engaging with a great cast of three-dimensional characters, and really evokes the 1950s atmosphere that the anthology has as its theme. It’s a great way to end the anthology.

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