Fiction4 summer reading discount on short fiction

June 27th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Four fabulous fiction collections are discounted this summer. Just apply the coupon Fiction4 at the checkout when you order one or more of these titles:

Who Killed Emil Kreisler, by Nigel Jarrett

Postcards from a dead woman; a tale told in letters, centred on a strange musical instrument; the journey of Bismarck’s helmet … In Who Killed Emil Kreisler? Nigel Jarrett takes the reader through centuries and across continents to places well beyond their comfort zone.

The Lost of Syros, by Emma Timpany

In The Lost of Syros, a debut collection of stories by Emma Timpany, revelations come unexpectedly: in a shower of gold on a snow-covered volcano in Antarctica; at a graffiti-scarred Aboriginal sacred site; in a mouthful of cake. Precise and delicately written, these stories are little windows into life.

A Witness of Waxwings, by Alison Lock

A Witness of Waxwings invites us into worlds of shifting time and identities, where brutal reality is often witnessed through a liminal lens. Within these stories are shifts of light, perception, slips into other realms, where people are inhabited by birds, selkies and sprites. There are ghosts in the ocean, faces in the wake. Alison Lock’s fictional world is a route map to unexplored mindscapes.

Only the Visible Can Vanish, by Anna Maconochie

Love, sex and dating, the daily grind of work in Future Digital, being the other woman, the other man, Beauty and the Beast retold, rabbits, rats and foxes… In Only the Visible Can Vanish, Anna Maconochie brings tales of transformation and hidden identity, revealing the superficiality and depths of life in the internet age.

Post and packing is free when you order two or more titles, so why not treat yourself this summer. The offer ends on 31 August 2018. Go to the links to start your order:

Who Killed Emil Kreisler 

The Lost of Syros

A Witness of Waxwings

Only the Visible Can Vanish

If you like Black Mirror, you’ll like Dip Flash, by Jonathan Pinnock

June 20th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Jonathan Pinnock’s is a ‘weird and wonderful world’, according to Maryom, who reviews Dip Flash for Our Book Reviews Online:

It’s a world where ventriloquist’s dummies come to life, your wife might run off with a porpoise, or morph into a cat, and if your granny’s becoming too expensive to keep, there’s a way to release her equity. But you’d better hold on tight to your memories – if they start to disappear, then so will so much more…

Jonathan Pinnock’s latest collection of stories is like a montage of strange dreams you might have after too much cheese (there’s a story about that as well!). From short, hilarious anecdotes to longer tales that will twist your mind, they’re stories to amuse, intrigue and occasionally terrify you (‘Teamwork’ was horrifically claustrophobic for me).

I’ve puzzled over how to categorise this collection, and to be honest given up. Reading them is like seeing the world reflected in the fairground Hall of Mirrors – recognisable but a little warped. Sci-fi or fantasy might apply as a label for some, but by no means all. My favourites – Adagio Assai, and The Picture of Mrs Tandogan – aren’t that at all, but stories of people like you and me, striving for something perfect in life, or stumbling through it without paying the slightest bit of attention. All in all, an interesting set of stories, thought-provoking, funny, and/or scary; good, I’d suggest for watchers of ‘Black Mirror’.

Order Jonathan Pinnock’s story collection for £12 plus p&p: Dip Flash

Buy two or more books and postage and packing is free: find more Stories

Profound in simplicity and life-affirming, The Year of the Crab

June 20th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Gordon Meade’s ‘brave and unflinching’ poetry collection, The Year of the Crab, is reviewed by Cathy McGrath on The High Window. The poems chronicle the year following Meade’s cancer diagnosis and through his treatment. McGrath writes:

Everywhere Meade looks there are reminders of his reality. Otherwise ordinary observations become metaphors for the horror that he is facing. His initial enjoyment of watching woodpeckers in ‘The Family Name’ leads to the discovery that their family name is ‘descent’; it is obvious that everything is tainted. Meade is confronted with his own mortality and unable to escape his spiralling thoughts; it is his refusal to pretend but his decision to catalogue daily events through the lens of fear that makes this collection brave and unflinching.

The reader is spared little, and there are, as McGrath writes, ‘no saccharin happy ever afters’; however, ‘The final few poems in the collection are like breathing out after being underwater for too long.’

It is the penultimate poem though, ‘The Care Team,’ that moved me most in this collection. As Meade acknowledges the silent suffering of his family during his treatment, his wife: ‘one night, crying in the kitchen’ and his daughter ‘afraid’, we as readers are reminded that so many people are affected by cancer, not just the sufferers themselves and that it is the  ‘nurturing and non-invasive love’ alongside medical treatments that give people the oxygen they need to survive.

For his finale Meade, of course, returns to the sea, but now it has ‘turned autumnal’. He is aware that everything is ‘more threatening’, the colours no longer white but ‘grey and black’. Meade no longer reads the earthbound signs to know that he has passed his summer season, but acknowledges that it is from the unpredictable, unchained:

Sky above us, by the birds that fly
around us and, mostly, by the sea’

that we can tell ‘everything’. Life is constantly swirling, swooping and scudding by. Meade encourages us, with a warning, to embrace the elements.

Julian Colton, reviewing in The Eildon Tree, Issue 30, finds that ‘Meade pulls no punches’ in a collection ‘centred on pain and stark life and death choices’.

Having seen and heard Gordon Meade read I know he is probably a writer best appreciated at a live event where his wonderful softly spoken vocal style brings out the little nuances and inflections in the text. Though focused on the strong possibility and nature of death throughout, these poems are profound in their simplicity and immensely life-affirming.

Order Gordon Meade’s poetry collection for £10 plus p&p:The Year of the Crab

Order two or more books from this website, and p&p is free. Gordon Meade has two other collections published by Cultured Llama: Sounds of the Real World and Les Animots: A Human Bestiary, with images by Doug Robertson.

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