I’m frequently disappointed with short stories because all too often they can feel unfinished in one way or another, leaving me feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. However, as this collection is being published by Meerkat Press, and as I have never yet been disappointed with anything from publisher Tricia Reeks, I was encouraged to feel optimistic that I would be in for a treat.
I immediately felt captivated by J.S. Breukelaar’s evocatively descriptive style, her convincing observations of human behaviour and the incisive quality of her dialogue. At times it felt as though her characters, and the worlds they inhabited, were leaping off the page, demanding my full attention. Although each of the stories is very different, what remains constant throughout the collection is the author’s skill in drawing her readers into the fantastical worlds she is describing. Yet these are worlds which, albeit in slightly distorted ways, are often all too easily recognisable, possibly because there is always an element of people struggling to make sense of, and adjust to, the world they are inhabiting. Although there were themes of violence, horror, terror, cruelty and pain, these were offset by unexpected moments of humanity, delight, love and hope. For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of reading these stories was this “unexpected” quality; reading them felt akin to going on a voyage of discovery, with surprises around every corner.
A collection of twelve of J.S. Breukelaar's darkest, finest stories with four new works, including the uncanny new novella "Ripples on a Blank Shore." Introduction by award-winning author, Angela Slatter. Relish the gothic strangeness of "Union Falls," the alien horror of "Rogues Bay 3013," the heartbreaking dystopia of "Glow," the weird mythos of "Ava Rune," and others. This collection from the author of American Monster and the internationally acclaimed and Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, announces a new and powerful voice in fantastical fiction.More info →