Short Story Review: “Invocation” by Dan O’Bannon

“Invocation” by Dan O’Bannon
From The Devil’s Coattails edited by Jason Brock and William F. Nolan
Cycatrix Press, 2011

According to the afterword, “Invocation” was discovered in a box of Dan O’Bannon’s old papers by his widow, Diane. It’s a minor tale by the screenwriter of Alien and the director of Return of the Living Dead, likely included here more on the strength of the author’s name than the strength of the work itself.

Basically, “Invocation” is the story of a bunch of guys sitting around a cramped apartment getting high. While rooting around in a cabinet looking for something to satisfy a serious case of the munchies, one of the guys discovers a hidden compartment that holds an old book. The fellows gather around and one of them begins to read the strange words aloud. As we all know thanks to countless similar stories, reading aloud from dusty old books is never a good idea. In this case, that proves once again to be true.

At just a few pages, “Invocation” is a quick, enjoyable little curiosity, but it’s probably going to be most interesting to O’Bannon completists. It reads like what it is – a future talent taking his first tentative stabs at the art of storytelling.

More reviews from The Devil’s Coattails.

*A little background on Short Story Reviews, and why I’m doing them this way*

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