Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

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Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

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Strange Relics, an anthology of classic supernatural stories about archaeological finds, curated by Amara Thornton and Katy Soar. As usual when I review sequels, spoilers – and fairly major ones at that – for the first two books in this trilogy, Siren and Pulse. As the young Zinaida and her sweetheart, the student Nemovetsky, stroll through the idyllic Russian countryside, their memories, dreams and thoughts about life and the future mingle in the evening breeze.

Kennedy was distrustful of his military and intelligence advisers, partly because of the previous year’s Bay of Pigs fiasco – Dwight Eisenhower’s planned invasion of Cuba that Kennedy had felt obliged to carry through – and we should only be thankful that some in his circle, under his calm leadership, were able to stem their hubris and sabre-rattling. His decision to install the missiles and all the Soviet support paraphernalia, including almost 50,000 servicemen, was reckless and impulsive -- and K did not think out the consequences at all. As Horus deploys his forces, a small band of loyal Space Marines from disparate Legions learn that a massive enemy armada is heading to Ultramar, home of the Ultramarines, headed by the most destructive starship ever constructed. Should this have happened, had Kennedy chosen to follow the recommendations of his military chiefs, a nuclear response would have been probable.As much as Kennedy dominated the events in the White House, Khrushchev did likewise in the Kremlin according to the more limited sources available to Hastings. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. The stories in From the Abyss perfectly encapsulate the subtler side of weird fiction that doesn’t need tentacled aliens with god-like powers to make you feel like the world we live in is stranger than you could ever know. The Window’ (1929), in which a deserted chateau takes revenge on anyone who opens one particular window.

Though Piehler’s reminder about wartime censorship seems beside the point, his biographical context—Pyle was escaping a troubled marriage—is valuable. In his youth, after leaving Bruges, he greedily seeks knowledge by roaming the roads of Europe and beyond, leaving in his wake a nearly legendary — but also dangerous — reputation of genius due to his scientific accomplishments — as well as the ire of the Christian authorities for his atheistic attitudes. Its narrative centers on the life and death of Zeno, a physician, philosopher, scientist and alchemist born in Bruges during the Renaissance era. In Yourcenar's own words, "In alchemical treatises, the formula L'Oeuvre au Noir, designates what is said to be the most difficult phase of the alchemist's process, the separation and dissolution of substance.Abyss consciously looks at the 'Big Picture' -- not just, as so many books on the Crisis do, the events of the period 16-28 October 1962.

Although the sequence of events is now in the public domain, Hastings manages to convey well the tension of the times as well as describing some close-run events which were not public knowledge for some time but could have triggered the escalation most people feared.

Reflecting on the outcome of these events, he reveals how the aftermath of this momentous crisis continues to reverberate today. Zeno's travels take him from his native Bruges as far away as the court of Gustav Vasa, whose ill-fated son Erik he tutors and attempts to admonish, to the Louvre of Queen Catherine where he encounters the poisoner Cosimo Ruggeri, and also to the lands of the Ottoman Empire, for whose navy he designs a rudimentary flamethrower. Melissa Edmundson, editor of Women’s Weird, Women’s Weird 2, Elinor Mordaunt’s The Villa and The Vortex and Helen Simpson’s The Outcast and The Rite, all published by Handheld, has curated a selection of Broster’s best and most terrifying work.



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