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The House of Doors

Novel by Brian Lumley (England) 1991.

Spencer Gill's inborn talent is to instinctively understand machines. Overnight, a large castle appears in Scotland, with no windows and no doors, and Spencer's job is to investigate it. He discovers it is a machine which, without warning, expands, engulfing Gill, his boss at the Ministry of Defence, a housewife on the run from her insanely jealous husband, and four others. Inside, the castle has many doors, each opening onto a new and different world: the nightmare world of the first person to enter. To make matters worse, the alien being who is running the whole shebang is breaking the ethics of his race and making it physically possible for each person to actually die in these nightmares.

Another typically unclassifiable mix of horror, sf and fantasy from the genius pen of Brian Lumley. Justifiably well known for his superb contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos and other Weird Tales-esque works, novels like the Necroscope series and The House of Doors prove that his talent for original work is just as large. On the surface, this one resembles those old Agatha Christie novels where a group of unsuspecting strangers are mysteriously summoned to a mansion on an island in the middle of nowhere, whereupon someone starts killing them off, one by one. The only difference is that this is horror not crime, and Lumley pulls out the stops accordingly. He plays up the terror without relying on gore schlock, and injects fantastic scenarios and sf concepts, ultimately resulting in a modern day masterpiece. This is what Predator ought to have been!


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