Archive for December, 2011

Hellnotes on Feather…

Posted: December 26, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Matthew Tait has posted a glowing review over at the Hellnotes website of Feather by David Rix. Matthew concludes:

“…It’s the final stories, however, that are the crowning jewels and where David’s talent as a writer is on full display. Displaying a less cerebral style but still showcasing a sharp sting, this is dark and urban gothic at it best as we follow Tallis through the streets of LjubLjana. A tale of bleak and functional spaces – and one that might remind a reader of Gary McMahon or even the early stylizing of Clive Barker traversing the streets of Liverpool.

Overall, this is like one of the more magical books one might read in high-school, but bristling at the intersection of Horror and Slipstream. A strange metaphor for the authors character itself – and at turns mythic and seductive.”

The Short Review on Nina Allan

Posted: December 19, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

The Short Review have just run an interview with Nina Allan in which she answers questions about her novel/collection “The Silver Wind”, here:
Also a review of the book itself by Mario Guslandi:
Mario writes:
“…this is a spellbinding, magical book where Nina Allan displays all her powerful imagination, her incredible talent for solid storytelling, but also for rewriting the reality in such a way that things are clearcut yet blurry at the same time. She’s a writer and a sorceress, able to make the unbelievable believable, so real that the reader is enveloped in a fascinating web of images and words which are, at the same time, colours and music…”

Spotlight on Eibonvale Press

Posted: December 11, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Ros Jackson over at the Warpcore SF website has run a spotlight on Eibonvale Press, reviewing the tone, style and character of the press as a whole. It’s famously difficult to see oneself as others see us, so we’re grateful for Ros’s perspective which points out that while we might not be selling (or making) millions, Eibonvale is a good source for fresh and original writing for those of you who have grown tired of the tired old mainstream and genre publishers pumping formula froth down your gullets. Ros writes:

“One good way to get an overview of the press is to read Blind Swimmer. This is a showcase anthology featuring all of the writers they have published since its origins around the winter of 2005 up until 2010. Three defining features emerge: the stories are frequently highbrow, weird, and occasionally intensely violent. Sometimes they’re all three at once.

When it comes to making readers think, it’s hard to pick out any single book from their catalogue that illustrates this better than the others, because none of Eibonvale’s authors are writing to a formula. Breaking the rules of what a story should be seems to be the rule. So in Feather David Rix plays with the idea of looking for meanings in stories, whilst in The Silver Wind Nina Allen keeps changing the details of her story until the five linked short stories she presents become much more than the sum of their parts. And then there’s Sylvow, Douglas Thompson’s ambiguous tale of environmental rebellion and relationship breakdown. This is writing that doesn’t shy away from being challenging and different, and the authors aren’t talking down to their readers.”

Do please check out the rest of the Warpcore SF article for a good independent perspective on Eibonvale Press.

Bloody War reviewed again…

Posted: December 9, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Jay Eales has reviewed Terry Grimwood’s Bloody War over at the BFS (British Fantasy Society) site, saying the he was gripped enough to read it in a single sitting. Golly, hope it was a comfy chair! Jay writes:

“Bloody War is the debut full length novel from Terry Grimwood. It’s not a huge book, and I was able to read it almost in a single session; something I haven’t done in years. So, I guess you could say that it’s a page-turner. Very much inspired by 1984, although I also got half-remembered flashes of The War of the Worlds from it, with characters wandering through the rubble of a devastated urban landscape…

Bloody War features a corking central conceit… It certainly intrigued me enough to look for some of his other work.”

Silver Wind shines again…

Posted: December 5, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Seasoned speculative fiction reviewer David Hebblethwaite has given Nina Allan’s The Silver Wind an excellent review over at his Follow The Thread blog. David seems to be of the growing school of thought that this book should be considered as a novel more than a collection, and welcomes the fifth and final part of the book which blend elements of autobiography into the foregoing narrative. David writes:

“Nina Allan is gaining a reputation as one of the most interesting British writers of speculative short fiction to emerge in recent years; her new collection is ample demonstration of why. The Silver Wind collects five ‘stories of time disrupted’ which are set in London and/or Sussex (though not necessarily the same ones), and which ostensibly share characters (though a character in one piece may be different when we encounter them again in another). The ultimate story of the volume may lie just as much in the spaces between tales as it does in the tales themselves…

…So that’s what we have in The Silver Wind: five different versions of reality; though it’s left to the reader to decide how (or indeed if) they fit together. What’s particularly striking about these stories is how grounded they are. Even when the collection is at its most fantastical, in the title story, Allan’s keen sense of place and solidity of detail anchor the supernatural (including the fairytale concept of a forest haunted by monsters – here subjects escaped from an experimental facility, whose bodies have been twisted by their ordeal) in a hard reality…

…Time travel’ in The Silver Wind is not a magic solution to the characters’ problems – it’s not about getting a second chance at making good an old situation; at best, it gives you a new situation, with its own potential pitfalls. But there’s a note of optimism in the final piece, ‘Timelines: An Afterword’, which puts a different spin on the previous stories, and suggests that things can turn out all right if you’re lucky – or if you take control of life yourself. However you view these five stories linking together, they add up to an intriguing collection.”

Our thanks as ever to David and all the other reviewers who’ve been so kind as to review Eibonvale’s books. Please check out their blogs and learn more about their work too.