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Throwback Review of Fungoid by William Meikle

Originally posted 01/04/2017

Whether mistakenly or intentionally is unclear, but Far East scientists have done a very big and very bad thing with some mushrooms. Spanning most of Canada, east to west and back again, a man fights to get home to his family while fungus eats at the world like a visible plague. The trek ain’t easy.

William Meikle paints vast and vivid picture of a world gone to flora and spores. Chaos and heartbreak mire the days that mount as the fungus increases its hold on the globe. The suspense is thick as Campbell’s condensed mushroom soup. Realistic characters demand attention and earn spiraling emotional responses, achieved through palpable and all-encompassing terror.

There is little to dislike about Fungoid, something I find tends to be the case with the works of William Meikle. The concept of thinking mushrooms and the simple answers breeding hope, cast alongside the darkness shadow any potential sunny outcome, which makes this story work and gel from start to finish.

Things got ugly, folks died, both good and not so good. If anything, perhaps there was room to expand, feature more fates tugging heartstrings, verge into other specs on the globe, but it wasn’t actually necessary, and who knows, it might've bred redundancy, might've marred the fantastic pace.

As far as picking up a short novel (one feeling even shorter than it is thanks to atmospheric pressure and the constant itch of what's coming next?) there’s significantly worse and amply trodden avenues of apocalyptic literature to consume aside from Fungoid. This one is excellent.

Lightning fast, engaging, and thoroughly entertaining.

Available now from Crossroads Press

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