Archive for February, 2012

Tickled by Feather…

Posted: February 24, 2012 by douglasthompson in Uncategorized

Charles Packer has given David Rix’s short story collection “Feather” a highly respectable 8 out of 10, over at the Review Graveyard website. Charles singles out the stories “Yellow Eyes”, “The Angels”, and “Touch Wood” for particular attention, saying:

“…by the end of the collection, Feather… remains an enigma. Based in a recognisable contemporary Britain, Rix covers his world with a Lovecraftian blanket, providing most of the stories with an intentional feeling of imminent danger.

We are introduced to her in the first story Yellow Eyes, which also introduces Rix’s form of lyrical use of language and strange mix of the macabre and the wondrous. Feather’s father forms the basis of many of the people she encounters throughout, full of mystical madness, it is difficult to decide whether they experience a greater form of reality, or have taken one too many steps away from it. Isolated from the world, under the watchful eye of her paranoid father, she longs to break free of his influence, to experience the world beyond the forest of her captivity…

…The remaining stories continue to explore the concept of an unknowable world as we view further stories in, Magpies, The Book of Tides, To Call the Sea and The Whispering Girl all contain stories of people trying to grapple with the inexplicable, although this lack of explanation may well just exist in both the readers mind, as well as Feather’s. her Lack of worldly experience means that she takes all the situations, no matter how strange, at face value. Perhaps that, ultimately, is the message of the book: that experience is often more important than explanation.”

The Silver Wind reaches tornado pitch…

Posted: February 17, 2012 by douglasthompson in Uncategorized

A couple of pretty good reviews in this week for Nina Allan’s Silver Wind, as well as a fevered buzz of discussion over its title story over at Martin Lewis’s Everything Is Nice blog.
Peter Tennant writing in Black Static Magazine of The Silver Wind book has described Nina Allan as “one of the most intelligent and daring voices in genre fiction”. Peter goes on to say:

“Each story stands alone, and apart from the title piece they could all easily pass muster as mainstream, literary fiction rooted in character and precise observation, and on that level alone Allan’s work is remarkable, giving us finely detailed character studies and effortlessly tapping into a universality of emotion, so that we can feel and identify with what these people are going through. But it’s in the way in which these stories interact and interweave that the work reaches another level, suggesting that each is set in some different version of reality.Like Moorcock’s Cornelius books with their portmanteau characters, The Silver Wind references the mutability of identity and strives to demonstrate how time and reality are different aspects of the same thing…

…However you read it, The Silver Wind is a rewarding and challenging work of fiction, one that can be enjoyed for the sensitivity with which the various relationships are developed and portrayed, but also for the way in which it cleverly manipulates reader expectation and gives us food for thought.”

Kev McVeigh writing at The Future Fire dissects the book at considerable length and despite some misgivings over how all the pieces of Allan’s timepiece interlock inside his head, concludes on this high note:

“…Ultimately I finished The Silver Wind unsure of what I had actually read and not a little puzzled by how it meshed together. Nevertheless, this is a remarkable book where execution almost matches conception, and one that I will be drawn back to. In time.”