Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

cover_caledonia_full
Our first review of ‘Caledonia Dreamin’ came in last week, Eibonvale’s groundbreaking anthology of dark fiction of Scottish descent exploring some of the wonderful words afforded us by the Scots dialect. That our first reviewer’s first language is not even English, never mind Scots, is just one reason for us to take our hats off to her. Margrét Helgadóttir writes:

“These tales are weird, terrifying, dark, beautiful, disturbing and funny. It was quite a thought-provoking read. Some of these stories are amongst the best stories I have read for quite a while and I recommend the book for not only the lovers of Scotland, the Scots language or linguistics in general, but for all fans of the weird and unexplainable, or people who enjoys plain good writing…

…There is a sincere voice throughout Caledonia Dreamin’, either the characters speak directly to you or whisper to you as if from the corner of a bizarre dream. In hindsight I think that this is the main reason why I spent such a long time reading this book. It’s such a challenging voice, difficult to not be moved or troubled by. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s the Scottish language that creates this feeling of the sincere and true voice. The editors have done a fine job creating this flow and expression.”
Read Margrét’s review in full over at the Future Fire review site.

Rustblind 5
Pauline Masurel has handed in a rave review of Eibonvale’s railway anthology ‘Rustblind and Silverbight’ over at The Short Review website. Pauline writes:

“There are twenty-four stories in this chunky book, which is billed as A Slipstream Anthology of Railway Stories. Many of the stories take liberties with reality, slipping effortlessly into fantastic worlds, but many of them are also quite strongly rooted in reality. This seems appropriate, given that railways are part of the edgelands, borderline places that divide landscapes. The book isn’t a cyberpunk, geek-fest of futuristic fiction but more of an insidious virus eating away at veracity. If ‘strangeness’ is the primary defining feature of slipstream literature then this collection has it by the carriage-load…

…This book may not be the ideal Christmas gift for a trainspotting old buffer (although it might be just the ticket if he or she has suitably open-minded, eclectic reading tastes). But I think it could induce at least a modest portion of train-appreciation in the most vehement rail-deniers. Reading this anthology I became convinced that every story should have a railway in it somewhere; it’s just that no one has realised this before. Try it out for yourself, but don’t forget to mind the gap…”

Our thanks to Pauline. Please do support her website by reading the review in full.

Automata…

Posted: November 13, 2013 by douglasthompson in An Emporium of Automata, Reviews

cover_automata_full
Our stalwart American follower, Adam Groves of The Fright Site has posted a glowing review of Dan Watt’s extraordinary tour de force “An Emporium of Automata”. Adam comments

“A most welcome reprinting of a collection originally published in 2010 by Ex Occidente Press, who specialize in extremely expensive limited editions. For this trade paperback version Eibonvale Press provided a gorgeous cover design, but of course it’s the content that really makes this book one of Eibonvale’s finest publications to date…

D.P. Watt has a decidedly unique imagination and a love of esoteric wordplay (sample sentence: “I had not taken you for one who skulks behind the scenes to see God’s entrance debased to pure mechanism”). His writing is reminiscent of horrormeisters like Thomas Ligotti and Robert Aickman, yet it displays the verve, literary mastery and idiosyncratic worldview that denote a standalone master of the form…”

Please do check out Adam’s review in full at: http://www.fright.com/edge/AnEmporium.htm

Miss Dynamite

Posted: October 27, 2013 by douglasthompson in Miss Homicide Plays the Flute, Reviews

Final Cover copy

Our very first review of Brendan Connell’s Miss Homicide Plays The Flute is in, and Adam Groves of The Fright Site seems to have been knocked sideways by it. Adam writes:

“Here’s how Eibonvale Press categorizes this typically atypical novel by Brendan Connell: “Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror.” Content-wise it’s sold as “A relentless symphony of pleasantries and things unpleasant sketched with the inimitable style of a master’s hand.” I couldn’t have put it better myself!

…The insanity of the story is complimented by the author’s miscellany, if miscellany is even the correct term for the odd dreams, lengthy “recipes” of murderous methodology, brief glimpses of Hell (“…and the sinners suffering therein–them being fried in great pans, chopped into little bits with huge hatchets”), lengthy descriptions of the artwork the heroine admires and overall obsession with ancient Greece (evident in passages like a description of a nightclub that devolves into a highly eccentric dissertation on Greek dance). Such things may qualify as deviations from the main narrative, or perhaps it’s the other way around. Either way this is a fascinating oddity that resembles nothing so much as itself.”

Thanks, Adam!

Rustblinder…

Posted: October 27, 2013 by douglasthompson in News, Reviews, Rustblind and Silverbright

DSCN9791
Nick Jackson (author of The Secret Life Of The Panda) has given Rustblind and Silverbright are rattling good thumbs-up, writing over at the reviews section of the most excellent Sein Und Werden magazine. Nick writes:

“Taking its title from a story by Wolfgang Borchert, this anthology is a shrine to the railway in all its manifestations and draws as much on the iconic status of these iron behemoths as on the collective psyche of railway buffs that worship them. There’s not a train spotter in sight and there are no pieces about the Orient Express, the Trans-Siberian railway or any of the world’s other great train lines but to my mind the anthology is all the better for it, looking beyond these clichéd images of railways at what makes them such lasting objects of fascination. Railways feature as subjects of obsession or in the form of a developing fanaticism into which the characters are slowly, sometimes unwillingly, drawn…

…I found this a hugely enjoyable collection and whatever their individual merits, there’s a synchronicity which makes the stories ping off each other in a very satisfying way. David Rix has brought together a bunch of stylistically disparate stories and, though I have my favourites, I think the weaker are improved by their placement in the anthology. The stylistic excesses of several gave an astringent edge to the deadpan delivery of others.”

Please do read the review in full, because Nick seems to have taken the time review almost every single story in a decent amount of detail, which is quite a feat. Cheers, dude.

Leaves on the line…

Posted: September 19, 2013 by douglasthompson in News, Reviews, Rustblind and Silverbright, Uncategorized

Rustblind 5-extractOops… looks like my brain has been so overworked and understaffed that it neglected to mention one of our recent reviews. Not to worry, I’ll make it up to you now with an endless string of apologies announced over a deafening tannoy system. The great Sami Airola of the Rising Shadow website has written glowingly of Rustblind and Silverbright, and in considerable depth, giving it 5-out-of-5 stars and describing it as one of the best anthologies of the year. Sami writes:

“…I liked all the stories in this anthology, so it’s difficult for me to choose my favourite stories, but if I had to pick a few stories, I’d probably pick these stories: Nina Allan’s Vivian Guppy and the Brighton Belle, Andrew Hook’s Tetsudo Fan, Rhys Hughes’ The Path of Garden Forks, Joel Lane’s The Last Train, Allen Ashley’s On the Level, Daniella Geary’s Death Trains of Durdensk, Jet McDonald’s The Engineered Soul, Steve Rasnic Tem’s Escape on a Train, Danny Rhodes’ The Cuts, Christopher Harman’s Sleepers, Steven Pirie’s Not All Trains Crash, Matt Joiner and Rosanne Rabinowitz’s The Turning Track, and Douglas Thompson’s Sunday Relatives. All of these stories (and also the ones that aren’t mentioned here) are worth reading and praising.

I dare say that Rustblind and Silverbright is the most versatile speculative fiction anthology of the year. Some of these stories are touching and beautiful while others are weird, shocking and disturbing, so there’s something for everybody in this anthology. This anthology will be of interest to both experienced readers and newcomers, because it contains diverse stories that have plenty of depth and atmosphere in them.

I give this unique and versatile anthology full five stars and I highly recommend it to all readers, because it contains original and fascinating speculative fiction stories about trains and railways. All the stories in Rustblind and Silverbright are fine examples of how versatile and well written speculative fiction stories can be and how much they offer to the readers in terms of depth, characterization and storytelling. If you’re thinking of reading only one anthology this year, please make sure that it is Rustblind and Silverbright, because you won’t regret reading it.”

Our thanks as ever go out to the tireless Sami Airola, Finland’s greatest export.

Arriving at Platform 3…

Posted: September 16, 2013 by douglasthompson in News, Reviews, Rustblind and Silverbright

Rustblind 5

Charles Packer over at the Sci Fi Online/Review Graveyard website, has reviewed our railway anthology ‘Rustblind and Silverbright’ in glowing terms, giving it a spectacular 9 out of 10.

Charles writes:

“Rustblind and Silverbright is a new collection of Slipstream stories edited by David Rix and published by that excellent purveyor of quality stories, Eibonvale Press, based around the themes of trains and their stations. If you have not read any Slipstream, it is a genre of writing which has shrugged off known genre chains, pulling influences from multiple literary influence to produce something which is both unique and deliciously unpredictable…

As you can imagine with so many writers telling tales set around a single theme, there are some similarities between some of the stories, a restriction born of only having two settings. And yet not a single author failed to turn in something worth reading…

…It’s difficult to pick a favourite amongst the collection, some are creepy, Death Trains of Durdensk is able to be touching and creepy concurrently with the idea of placing the dead on a train which just travels round the tracks, which is contrasted with outright romances or rites of passage.

The collection is strongly edited and an excellent way of discovering the authors at the cutting edge of slipstream literature.”
Our sincere thanks to Mr Packer, and do remember to read his review in full here.

Rustblinded

Posted: September 7, 2013 by douglasthompson in Reviews, Rustblind and Silverbright
Tags: ,

Rustblind 5
The second review of our railway anthology ‘Rustblind and Silverbright’ appeared this week over at the SF Revu website.
Seasoned short story connoisseur Mario Guslandi says of the book:

“The stories, interwoven with insightful commentaries by editor David Rix, offer a variety of atmospheres and situations, making the book a compelling and satisfying mix of reading material. Obviously, not every tale is accomplished or memorable, but some are truly excellent…”

Mario singles certain of the stories out for particular mention, but we’ll let you click on the link yourself to find out who. One of the many fascinations of anthologies (speaking from some experience here!) is the way different readers and critics will warm to certain stories that others pass by.

Arriving at Platform 1…

Posted: July 27, 2013 by douglasthompson in Reviews, Rustblind and Silverbright

DSCN9791

The renowned writer and reviewer D F Lewis has completed one of his legendary ‘Realtime Reviews” of Rustblind and Silverbright. Des was at the launch event itself, and seems to love the book, describing it in his ever-idiosyncratic style as “its own Holy Grailtrack”. He also says “This book no longer surprises me as one gem follows another, all skilfully chosen by the book’s over-arching force of creation…”

Des’s technique is such that he (uniquely among reviewers) makes it almost impossible for me to paraphrase his review without giving undue weight to one story over another, so dear reader, you’ll just have to read his review in its entirety here. Suffice to say he enjoyed every story and predicts this will be rated as one of the best anthologies of the year.

cover_talleststories_full
Talking of trains (and we have been talking of trains rather a lot here recently at the Eibonvale Terminus), or is it buses, what is it they say about three coming along at once?
First up, Charles Packer over at Sci Fi Online, has given Rhys Hughes’ 23rd published book (wow!) ‘Tallest Stories’ a rather respectable 8/10. Charles writes:

“…Normal literary conventional barriers are broken and both the author and the audience, at times, become active participants. With its stories within stories, it’s akin to a juxtaposition of Monty Python and Kafka where the stories can coexist as horribly absurd and absurdly horrible.

As you get into the book the stories become self-referential, slowly building up a complete picture of the tavern and its patrons. Hughes intends to complete a cycle of one thousand stories which are all interconnected and not just in a linear form, as such Tallest Stories acts as a taster for the eventual wider work. Each tale is headed with a drawing by David Rix, who also created the book’s cover…

…It’s a clever book written with wit and a good eye for a humorous turn of phrase. Read carefully, there is a lot of philosophical meat to the overall book, although if this is not your bag the stories can be read for the giggles alone.”

Next “Gav” at Mass Movement Magazine has reviewed ‘Tallest Stories’, saying among other things:

“…A little tavern in Cardiff docks where the currency is a good story and all of the patrons seem to have a brilliant tale to tell forms the basis for ‘Tallest Stories’ and all of the brilliant tales are present and correct in this collection penned by Rhys Hughes. Every separate tale is a great stand-alone piece, each one incedibly inventive and different from the last, but at the same time, each story seems to sit perfectly well alongside all the others in the collection. Hughes’ writing is easy to follow and enjoyable…”

Last but not least, the legendary D.F Lewis has done one of his mind-boggling real-time reviews of the book, which are always a challenge for chaps like me to paraphrase, but here goes:

“…the multifarious pieces of internal (and cover) art by David Rix are wonderful and give the whole book a definite character. Based on my nostalgic, old-fashioned experience of secondhand bookshops, I can imagine one where somebody much younger than me pounces on this hard copy book as the optimum book to be found in any secondhand bookshop ever – surely because of its durable soul as a book. I can give its overall production no greater praise…

…Rhys Hughes’ work often reawakens my own waking dreams when, as a child, being put to bed too early, I imagined all sorts of weird and wonderful reality-steeped fabrications. Hughes has uniquely taken this ability into an adulthood creativity – for the benefit of resummoning this nostalgic activity for fellowkind and, accepting that, we should all be grateful.

…I think I have already shown the prevailing factors that make this a seriously great book, possibly Rhys Hughes’ greatest book so far. And the production qualities, story-heading images, designs etc by Eibonvale Press and David Rix do it proud.”

Hearty thanks as ever to all these reviewers. Please check out their respective websites in full.