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A bolt of lightning. A crack of thunder. The lingering smell of ozone in the highly-charged air.
And the world has changed forever.
Or has it? Maybe the world we knew is still exactly the same…somewhere else. In the precise moment that the thunderbolt boomed what if a portal had opened up and sucked us through? And we’re now in a different world in a parallel universe.
In the wink of an eye we’ve been transported to a world we don’t know. Even though it looks the same on the surface, there’s just a hint that all may not quite be what it seems beneath. Even the most ordinary things may be just a touch out of kilter.
We’ve left our old lands behind, where things usually happen for a logical reason and with an express purpose. We now reside in strange new lands, where the unpredictable becomes the norm…where the plain ridiculous is lurking just under the skin of reality.
Welcome to the Thunderlands.
Twenty-one short stories including The Trial Of Santa Claus, where the jovial guy in red faces charges of cruelty to children; The Twitter Bully sees an online cyber bully get his come-uppance in a particularly grotesque way; and “Hello Dear” in which the ghost of an elderly lady keeps appearing to a career woman.
Others include A Timely Murder, where a man goes to unusually severe lengths to ensure he is convicted of a crime; The Wind Of Fire, featuring a space traveller with three eyes and a two-foot-long trunk who finds a mysterious book on a dead world; and Harvey Looks For A Friend, telling of a young ghost desperately seeking someone to play with.
And then we have Ree – The Troll Of Dingleay, a nonsense poem written with a lot of help from the pupils of Huncote Community Primary School, in Leicestershire, UK.
The book puts humanity on trial for our offences, in some cases literally. Many of the stories are a study of human nature, even if all the characters aren't, strictly speaking, human, examining themes such as greed, lust, gluttony and plenty of other deadly sins, with a widely differing series of characters and settings.