MARTIN H. GREENBERG, Editor – Deadly Doings. Ivy, paperback original; 1st printing, 1989.

#8. JOHN JAKES “No Comment.” Short story. Original to this anthology. Not reprinted elsewhere.

   This is the story of Slub Canal, a subdivision somewhere close to Buffalo NY and the series of deaths from cancer caused by the ongoing toxic daily waste-dumping pollution from Metrochem. Everyone knows this, or they do as soon as a loved one dies, their limbs glowing greenishly in the dark.

   The company’s continuing response? “No comment,” primarily from spokesman Buddy Wood. One day a long time worker there has had enough, and the conclusion to the story gives a gruesome double twist to the meaning of the title.

   I guess you could call this a “feel good” story on the part of the author, and you have to commend him for that. But as a story, the ending is all too predictable, and the result is little more than a acreed on the behalf of vigilante environmentalism.

   John Jakes wascovered here on this blog not too long ago, as the author of the science fiction story “Half Past Fear,” reviewed here.


Previously in this Martin Greenberg anthology: HELEN NIELSEN “Woman Missing.”