It's trite to specify "Don't read this with the lights out," but with "Blackout," it's not tried, it's true. I had the lights on, but read it alone, and suffered a disturbed sleep because of it (not nearly as disturbed as the narrative's characters). "Blackout" sinuously slid into my brain cells, into my nerves nd veins, and now it refuses to leave or to be forgotten. I used to welcome the idea of First Contact, but that was before I read "Blackout."
I give this unforgettable story 12 stars for the writing; 36 stars for that one element I demand in horror: Implacability. The falling asteroid, the tsunami, the Sun going nova--or the premise of "Blackout": from any of these, you can't run, you can't hide, you can only die. Implacability.
Write on, Mr. Curran.