It begins in 2005, with the unforeseen devastation of a college student’s head in the back of a Japanese classroom. Split down the center, with a sudden burst of blood and gore, the other students don’t have a chance to react before tentacles begin emerging from the space now present between the two halves of the boy’s head. This horrific experience is the first of the anomalies on record.
With that graphic, visually potent scene, Henk Wester drags the reader into his unfolding novella, The Cosmic Anomaly. If you don’t consider that a tantalizing first glimpse of the world he’s preparing to show us, I don’t know what else you’d be looking for.
Wester provides the reader with a brief overview of the succeeding years, as anomalies become increasingly common, ranging from the simply peculiar to the utterly horrific before introducing us to Anton, Irma, Bernie, and the other Splenmalies creators. A South African YouTube channel focused on exploration and exploitation of anomalies, the Splendmalies crew exclusively provides their massive viewership with fraudulent cases, banking on the–largely American and European–subscribers knowing little to nothing about what’s going on in Africa. That is until Bernie decides they need to go big or go home. By venturing into De Aar, a town abandoned by the residents who managed to survive the high rate and destructive level of anomalous activity there, Bernie sees nothing but dollar signs and fame in their futures.
As the story races toward its gripping conclusion, Wester displays great imagination and dedication to bringing the conditions in De Aar to surreal, terrible life. Hellraiser meets Silent Hill is perhaps the best way I can conceive of describing what the reader is in for, and that only provides the bare minimum of preparation.
As Henk Wester introduces us to his native South Africa in a form that, thankfully, should never exist, we realize just how much smaller the world has gotten over recent decades. College students and young adults are the same worldwide, or so it would seem–that is to say, stupid and short-sighted.
This title will be available through Godless on September 30th, before presumably becoming available through other channels a short while thereafter. You can obtain a copy for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your smart phone, tablet, or eReader of choice. The link for this title is below: