Antisocial Housing by Tim Mendees
Nordic Press (April 30, 2022)
87 pages; $9.99 paperback; $3.91 ebook
Reviewed by Joshua Gage
Tim Mendees is a rather odd chap. He’s a horror writer from Macclesfield in the North-West of England that specializes in cosmic horror and weird fiction. A lifelong fan of classic weird tales, Tim set out to bring the pulp horror of yesteryear into the 21st Century and give it a distinctly British flavor. His work has been described as the lovechild of H.P. Lovecraft and P.G. Wodehouse and is often peppered with a wry sense of humor that acts as a counterpoint to the unnerving, and often disturbing, narratives. Tim has had over eighty published short stories and novelettes along with six stand-alone novellas and a short story collection. His newest tale is Antisocial Housing, a fun, quick read of cosmic horror.
In Betyls Cove, Cornwall, there’s a new housing development that’s struggling. It’s clearly shoddy construction — stuck doors, thin walls, spotty electricity — but the worst part is the plumbing. There’s something off with the plumbing, something that’s cosmically bad. Apparently, when the housing development was built, various protective signs were destroyed, and a shoggoth is now making its way through the pipes, dissolving residents in it’s black goo. It’s up to former archeology student Sarah, plumber Paul, and two police officers to fight and defeat this horror before all of Cornwall is consumed.
This book can only be described as unmitigated joy. There’s a tongue-in-cheek aspect to this novel that makes it stand out amongst all the other typical Lovecraft inspired stories, and a sarcastic tone that emanates throughout the whole story that’s just delightful. At less than a hundred pages it’s a quick read, but well plotted. It’s clear, though, that Mendees is simply having fun with the Lovecraft mythos, and the result is a horror comedy novella that is entertaining. Readers that aren’t too serious about their horror will thoroughly enjoy this story.