Three reviews drifted in last week of magazines/anthologies that I’m in. First up, the completely unique and inimitable veteran writer and reviewer D F Lewis seems to like my short story ‘Black Sun’ which appears in Theaker’s Quarterly issue 44. Des writes:
“This story is an absolutely incredible read both as a singularity in itself and in the context of this book, and, when coupled with the characters’ artfully delineated backstories, it reaches a height of poignancy in the story’s ‘real world’ as well as in the main protagonist’s dreams. And there is also perhaps another circular ‘suicide’.
Whenever I read a Douglas Thompson story, I feel as if I am looking through a fiction-microscope where physically beautiful words of all lengths and mineral or jellyfish or orchid qualities shimmer or prick one into a special magic reality, then miraculously turning such microscopic visions into a vast macroscopic imaginarium that one can ‘bank’ as if within some accreting noumenon-sump that is somewhere inside yourself even if you do not always consciously remember the process.”
Thanks, Des. I think what he’s saying is that my writing plays to the subconscious rather than the conscious mind, like a cricket bowler with a lot of spin.
Then we turn to “Rustblind and Silverbright” the railway-themed anthology from Eibonvale Press, in which my short story ‘Sunday Relatives’ appears. Mario Guslandi, writing at the SF Revu website says:
“Defined as a “slipstream anthology of railway stories”, Rustblind and Silverbright contains twenty-four tales ranging from horror to SF, where trains represent a key element of the plot, either because the events take actually place on a train or because they are set in the world surrounding the running wagons. A train ride combines the charm of a journey taking passengers to their destinations (a home, a resort, or just an unknown place where one may run and hide from a grim reality) with the feelings elicited by the fleeting glimpses of backyards, fields, unfamiliar skylines, and stations.
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.
…Douglas Thompson contributes “Sunday Relatives” where traveling by train becomes a metaphor of life, seasons, and images from the past still linger on the compartment seats.”
Finally, Charles Packer over at Sci Fi Online, has also highly praised this anthology, giving it 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.”
I agree with Charles. Ms Geary’s story is an absolute cracker, one of several much better than mine.