The past four months have seen me devour more short fiction than I could have imagined. I’m on a strong short fiction wave, which is evident from the review links that I posted last week. I think that the momentary satisfaction of experiencing a story in one gulp, swallow or bite is fairly personal for me. This is the defining theme I have in my relationship with food. I don’t do slow and I don’t do one thing for a long time, especially when I want to distract myself. Things from October till now are far from rosy [adapting to a new family dynamic rarely is a positive process], so the need for distraction reflected in my reading.
I’m figuring this out as I type, so I’m probably as fascinated as you are about why I’m on an anthology high.
On to the books, then.
During the weekend, I finished reading The Zombie Apocalypse edited by Stephen Jones, a UK Mammoth Book of Horror [477 p.] and enjoyed it tremendously. There is much merit in the interconnected eyewitness accounts that create a collective narrative, delivered through all the possible means to record information. I consider this a rebirth of the epistolary novel [unless the epistolary novel is alive and well, in which case long live the epistolary novel!], though in a sense it’s not a single narrative; a strength considering how the ones that survive can tell the whole story from start to finish, while here, the reader experiences the casualties.
Right now, I am enjoying The Man Who Collected Machen & Other Weird Tales by Mark Samuels, a fairly light collection published by Chomu Press. I have not sampled the author before, but I can sense that he’s going to be a favorite. I’m gradually introducing myself to the weird genre and I like it. Paul Jessup has been the first weird writer I’ve read so far, but his stories function on dream logic [Glass Coffin Girls], while Samuel submerges reality into its altered state.
In the future, I have too many to pick. I have been commissioned to review Ventriloquism by Cat Valente, so that should be fun, but I hope to manage in Hellebore & Rue [an anthology about queer spellcasters] and The Girl with no Hands & Other Stories by Angela Slatter. I do have some novels in between, so let’s see how things work out.