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By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 3 October 2023
Rating:   7

"Guests for the Night" gives the listener a haunted house, sci-fi style. The Professor has dragged Ace to some dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere to find a "point of stillness." There, they meet a belligerent American looking for his missing sister. As they walk to the house, it mysteriously comes alive. Inside are the creepy brother and sister, upper class twits if ever there were any, and their strange butler, both menacing and incompetent. Are they vampires? The difficulty for the writer is how to turn the haunted house tropes into science-fiction tropes. There are a few interesting twists to get there. The problems in the story mostly involve The Professor, who is alternately reluctant to enter the house, then eager to enter the house, reluctant to cooperate with the bizarre family, then eager to get on their good side (they don't really have one). The Professor's behavior is driven more by the need to get him somewhere in the plot than by consistency of character. Also, the American looking for his sister is there as a contrivance to get the characters into the house, and once they are in, he is quickly dispatched, and no longer relevant, forgotten by the end of the story. So, my assessment is that the story has much that is entertaining and interesting, but these elements are mired in an ill-constructed plot.

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