This is Part Two of Book Talk: August 2017. You can find Part One here.
This month my short story reading soared to heights I’ve not seen in a long time. What’s even more awesome is that I got to sit down and read stories from some of my favourite authors. As per usual, I will keep my thoughts on the stories brief to prevent possible spoilers.
Busking by Jason Fischer
There’s a lot of weird stories in Fischer’s Everything is a Graveyard collection and this is certainly one of them. The main protagonist is an entertainer who realises everyone has vanished and wonders why they’re still here. The characters in this story are well done and really odd, which I couldn’t help but laugh with a couple of them. A fun little read overall and recommended if you want something odd.
When the Cheerful Misogynist Came to True Town by Jason Fischer
Also from Everything is a Graveyard, this is yet another strange tale of terror and oddness. This story was not what I was expecting and went into some strange worlds really quickly. Have a read of it and you’ll see why I think it’s odd.
Goggy by Jason Fischer
A little kid and killer kangaroos, all that I can say about this flash fiction story from Everything is a Graveyard. Read it, you won’t be disappointed!
Tied to the Tracks by George S. Walker
From issue 67 of Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, “Tied to the Tracks” is really just a strange piece altogether. It has an Arabian/Ancient Egyptian fantasy style to it, with railways and guns. I really liked the concept and ideas to this story, but found it too difficult to comprehend with all its oddities. The characters too really weren’t that great to me.
The Mangler by Stephen King
From the Night Shift collection, The Mangler is one of the strangest monster tales I’ve ever read. I mean, what else could be as weird as a bloodthirsty industrial laundry machine? This is a frightening piece too, which is what good horror should be. Give this a read if you want some a little odd and different to other short monster tales out there.
The Reincarnate by Ray Bradbury
There are many reasons why I love Ray Bradbury’s short stories, and “The Reincarnate” from the A Pleasure to Burn collection is one of them. The story, told in a second person perspective, follows Paul, a man who has recently died and has come back to life. I found it to be an interesting tale which did make my skin crawl a bit. If you like strange ghost/zombie tales that have them wishing to protest being dead then this is your story.
Pillar of Fire by Ray Bradbury
Also from A Pleasure to Burn, “Pillar of Fire” follows a man who has recently woken up after a couple hundred years of being dead. This story was about the strangest dystopian sci-fi story I’ve read in a while. The dystopian themes in this one are the destruction of death (including graveyard destruction and book burnings of Poe and Lovecraft) and people becoming too trustworthy. Have a read of this if you want a dystopian story that’s unlike the others out there right now.
The Library by Ray Bradbury
Yet again from A Pleasure to Burn, “The Library” is a very short tale about a book burning. Have a read of this to see Bradbury’s concern of the destruction of the imagination.