Review of Mike Russell’s fantastical paranormal Strange Medicine


The teeth remind me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show while the eight stories remind me of the long running syndicated Twilight Zone weekly show. The show can be streamed from Amazon through one a channel, CBS. From the Amazon website:

The original “The Twilight Zone” premiered on Oct. 2, 1959 on CBS. The series took viewers to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. “The Twilight Zone” became a worldwide phenomenon as it used socially conscious storytelling to explore the human condition and culture of the times.

That is Strange Medicine and Nothing is Strange, Strange Medicine’s predecessor, written by Mike Russell, who is a gifted author. He like Twilight Zone’s creator has used daydreaming to come up with one wicked set of stories. They are not horror but a mix of fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, and just plain strange. Imagine living in an altered reality but in the same place you have always lived in or for those of you who are Army brats, any one of the numerous places you have resided. It’s not the space alien type of perspective … it’s not the drug haze existence … it’s the world of dreams, night dreams for most of us where the world would not make sense to the conscious part of your mind but where your unconscious self pulls in items, people, and places and creates a narrative. That is Strange Medicine and its companion, Nothing is Strange.

I received the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. To me, there is no quality difference in the stories in both books. They are excellent. The editing is better in Nothing is Strange; however, the editing issues in Strange Medicine do not take away from the stories’ readability. There is a certain grossness to the story about the fishheads but again it was professionally done so not to be a turn off. I really liked the stories about the Institute and its founder, the president of rationality and the one about the mime. I had recently read Edinburgh Twilight, the first in Carole Lawrence’s Ian Hamilton Mysteries series. Besides being a lover of historical crime fiction, Edinburgh Twilight features a mime as one of its supporting characters that I found fascinating. Strange Medicine explored the world of miming in more detail. I really enjoyed Strange Medicine, a short palette cleanser for the mind. I will be reading more from Mike Russell.