A Review of Skein and Bone, by V.H. Leslie

by Paul St. John Mackintosh
Exquisitely disturbing tales
V.H. Leslie is an artist and printmaker, as well as a very fine writer, and a member of England’s Omega Printmakers in Portsmouth. The fourteen dark and weird stories in this first collection are as finely crafted as you’d expect from her background, and as mysteriously suggestive as any cryptic design. Her work has been compared to Shirley Jackson or M.R. James, but is completely modern in its fantastic, surreal flavor.

Cabinet of Wonders: Menagerie of Weird Creatures

web fiction reviews by Lauren Colie Open the door into a menagerie for this week’s Cabinet. Strange beings and strange people populate the shelves, each a curio for us to consider. There are questions about ethics, character and love wrapped up in bizarre, two-headed and three-footed packages. Don’t forget: there’s always more than meets the […]

Up the Fire Road (part two), fiction by Eileen Gunn

* “Was I on some kind of strange drug? Was I in the woods at all? Was I at my mom’s house, and having some kind of a psychotic episode?” Read PART ONE of “Up the Fire Road” HERE.   Andrea Mickey wasn’t bad in bed. He was younger than I had thought, and he […]

Up the Fire Road (part one), fiction by Eileen Gunn

* “If life seems slow and meaningless, go somewhere where you depend on Christy to get you back.” (“Up the Fire Road” originally appeared in Eclipse One.) Andrea The main thing to understand about Christy O’Hare is he hates being bored. Complicated is interesting, simple is dull, so he likes to make things complicated. Used […]

Cabinet of Wonders: Feral Mail, Hungry Curtains & Fork Phobia

web fiction reviews by Lauren Colie I’m moving. Packing up all of my possessions, all of me, and claiming a new spot as my home. It only makes sense that I’m seeing signs of change all over the place — including this week’s Cabinet picks. See how relocating shakes up more than just coordinates and […]

Cabinet of Wonders, 3.7.15

Web Fiction Reviews by Lauren Colie This week, the cabinet is full of fantasy. I’m dreaming of better weather by slipping into the dreamworlds of others. Dolphins, dragons and doves in the depths of conflict: take a trip with these three tales to take a break from your reality. A Review of Surfacing, by Marissa […]

Weird Pairings, Borges + Dublin Library

The Quote: Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentine writer who was postmodern way before postmodernism was a Thing. He was writing magical realist stories just as magical realism was becoming a Thing. He started his writing career publishing in surrealist literary journals when surrealism was The Thing. This places Borges front and center of nearly […]

A Review of Brown Girl in the Ring, by Nalo Hopkinson

Serving the Spirits In this near future, post-apocalyptic Toronto, the wealthy live in the suburbs. In the inner city, government and social structures have disintegrated after a series of riots. “The ones who couldn’t or wouldn’t get out,” use a system of barter, and live under the shadow of crime-lord Rudy and his posse. Ti-Jeanne, […]

A Review of Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, by Genevieve Valentine

This novel, which received a Nebula nomination for Best Novel, takes place in a post-war landscape. The particulars are left vague: we know that there were bombs and radiation, followed by smaller wars for control, and the creation of city-states. Outside of these, borders have become fluid, and life brutal. To stay out of trouble, […]

A Review of What I Didn't See and Other Stories, by Karen Joy Fowler

Exploring the Historical Fantastic What I Didn’t See and Other Stories[/amazon_image]Karen Joy Fowler is one of the writers who, to me, exemplify the literary fantastic. Her stories crack the shell of history, looking for strange and beautiful pearls. The fantastical elements always seem entirely probable, if mysterious, and serve to deepen our understanding of the […]