Leo X.Roberston is an author I discovered after reading his amazing short story Kelpies, as featured in the Monsters Exist Anthology from Deadman's Tome. So I leapt at the chance to have a sneak read of this before it officially comes out in August 2017 from Unnerving
Never before have I read a horror story set in an abandoned nuclear energy plant which immediately stresses me out. Why would anyone ever think it a good idea to go poking around there? Nuclear energy really unnerves me, it's power is just so deadly, the side-effects last for hundreds of years. It's a naturally occurring energy source but just seems so at odds with what nature has to offer us.
When not being an author, Leo X Robertson moonlights as a process engineer and he's used his technical know-how and flair into writing a really believable book on the dangers and mysterious qualities of "the ineradicable nature of radiation's insidious spread!" This is a great blend of horror and sci-fi and makes for a really cool what-the-fuck?! read.
The story centres around Themis and his friends who are celebrating the end of high school by spending a lost weekend in an abandoned nuclear energy facility. Abandoned because it was the site of an infamous nuclear accident in which his grandfather, Socrates lost his job and really fell from grace. But it's not going to get in the way of them having a great party before they all ruin their lives by becoming adults.
It's an odd choice for a party but then again Themis has been through an odd upbringing full of misery, murder and nuclear obsessions. He has many repressed questions about his childhood and family and here seems to be a good place to finally awaken the past and conduct some thorough soul searching. Also he really wants to get it on with Zara in the weirdest place possible.
He's still haunted by the ghost of his crazy scientist grandfather who believed that hidden in his bloodline was the ability of radio-kinesis - the ability to control radioactive materials using only the power of the mind.
Events escalate pretty quickly through this great dark edgy tale. It pulls you in straight away as it's really original and quirky. If you've never read indie horror fiction before this is a great place to start.I found it really imaginative, very dark with some sly dark humour. I particularly loved all the gruesome radioactive descriptions which has really reaffirmed my suspicions about nuclear energy and has me pinning all my hopes on mankind being able to utilise solar and wind sources of energy for the future!
Leo has a really good narrative and I can't wait to read Bonespin Slipspace (wow what a title) his previous novella from Psychedelic Horror Press
On a side note, this novella is being released by Unnerving who also publish their self titled Unnerving Magazine. It's a fairly new venture and has already featured some really talented indie authors, I've recently read the second issue and its brilliant. So if you really like indie fiction and want to show your support buy the magazine. It's available on kindle and in paperback, very really priced and if you subscribe it's even cheaper.
About the Author
Leo X. Robertson is originally from Glasgow but now lives in Oslo where he works as a process engineer. His short stories have been featured in many publications such as Helios Quarterly, Deadman's Tome, Unnerving Magazine, Schlock! Bi-Monthly, Open Pen Magazine and many others. This is his second novella, his first was Bonespin Slipspace from Psychedelic Horror Press.