The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome, ed. ?Shaun Russell

Second paragraph of third story (“A Moment in History”, by Andy Frankham-Allan):

At least this time he wasn’t a child. If he were to guess, he’d place his new… host? As good a term as any… in his mid- to late-twenties. Intelligent blue eyes, fair hair slicked back, cut very short, and dressed in formal clothes. Shirt and tie, brown slacks, brown shoes. A professional of some sort? Although, going by the paraphernalia in the surrounding room, he had a feeling this was just how men dressed in the era he’d found himself in. The bedroom had a distinctly 1930s feel to it. Everything from the light shade hanging from the ceiling, to the dresser before him and the design of the blanket covering the ornate looking bed. But who was he?

A set of short stories set in the sub-sub-narrative of the Laughing Gnome, where Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart and his comrades Bill Bishop and Anne Travers Bishop find their minds displaced into people and places in the past century or so. I must say that while I have been frankly disappointed with a couple of the novels of this sequence, the short story format worked very well for me. Particular standouts are S.J. Greonewegen’s “Locked In”, a quick tale on a botched WW2 military exercise that has more than it seems, and Roland Moore’s “The Last House on Sandray”, which brings back an unexpected character from Classic Who. Overall generally an uptick. You can get it here.

Two formatting points though: there is no table of contents, and the editor (if it is Shaun Russell) is credited in tiny print on the inside cover.

Next in this sequence: Home Fires Burn, by Gareth Madgwick.