Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

2010 Stories 97 - 100

These stories appear in the forthcoming anthology Dark Faith, from Apex.  I was given an Advance Reading Copy in pdf form and asked to review the stories in advance of the May 1 launch date.  Most of the authors in the book are unfamiliar to me, so I am able to approach the content with a very subjective eye and see how the stories link up to the anthology's theme, rather than how they relate to previous work by the authors.

The theme of the anthology is faith in all of its forms -- spiritual, scientific, self-aware.

97. The Story of Belief-Non by Linda D. Addison.  I have occasionally reviewed poems here, although I am not at my best when doing so.  Having said so, I admit: I struggled with this. I liked the final stanza very much, but the rest of it just didn't click with me. I struggled with forming a mental image for most of it. However, these lines in particular felt like a perfect lead-in to the rest of the anthology: Faith doesn’t come easily, let Truth / recognize insubstantiality, choose /  to believe or not  because having read at least the first few stories now, I think the choice to have faith or not is going to be important.

98.  Ghosts of New York by Jennifer Pelland.  Just as I thought I was going to have to report that I did not like this story, the author executed a slight but deft change in course that drew me into the story and made me feel for the main character.  It is very, very difficult to write stories connected to recent national / international tragedies.  Or perhaps it is just very, very difficult to for me to read such stories; even almost a decade later, I have a hard time reading anything connected to September 11th. Pelland managed to get me past my initial reticence by waiting just long enough into the story to move past "telling" me what was going on and getting into showing me what the story was really about.  It's still dark, and tragic, but I think it also raises the wonderful question: "what does being remembered really mean?"

99. I Sing A New Psalm by Brian Keene.  I thought the format of this story -- laid out like verses in the New Testament -- would work against it, but it actually enhanced the mood of the story, which moves through various stages of belief and connectedness to God.  Done in first person, it almost feels like it could be one of those "Letters from Saint Paul."  Slight repetitions or variations on certain well-known phrases work to build the tension of the story.  I will admit I foresaw the ending from about the half-way point, but sometimes that's okay. Rather than trying to fake the reader out, Keene delivers on expectations raised in the first half of the story, and delivers well.

100. He Who Would Not Bow by Wrath James White.  Tremendous. Absolutely my kind of story. White uses this story to explore the question we've all heard before: what if, when God does come to Earth, He's not what we expect?  Typically this type of story ends up with the reveal that it's not really God, but an alien of some kind, and there's some kind of Twilight Zone-ish twist. White keeps it simple in that regard: this is God, those are his angels. But what does it mean for God to Incarnate in the physical realm? And what kind of ruler would He be, given how widely the religions of the world have interpreted Him (or Her) over the centuries?  This type of story also sometimes falls victim to its Concept, with a lack of interesting characters. Not so here. This is absolutely a character-based exploration of the questions at hand; the main character, in his memories and in his actions, shows us the world after He comes to live in it, but it is the main character himself who makes us want to keep reading.


A Story A Day Keeps Boredom Away

Latest Month

May 2016


Powered by LiveJournal.com