Hey everyone, Dave here. 🙂
I’m a sucker for short story collections and anthologies – collections because a writer’s skills and imagination unfold from story to story, and anthologies because the talent and ideas on offer are always something to be excited about.
Simon’s collection, featuring an incredible cover by Jim Burns, is a stunning showcase of a storyteller with heart, wit and an incredible imagination.
The first tale, Biblia Longcrofta, follows the journey of a man in search of himself and his place in the world. It is also an exploration of many different ideas and philosophies, which not only make it one of the most unique stories I’ve read but also one of the most memorable. In this tale you’ll come across living statues, mysterious and monolithic Black Ships, gods and goddesses, souls and their own journeys toward rebirth, cosmic terror and war… And that’s by no means everything! 😉
Simon also manages to stitch together each of these ideas into a unified whole, using them not only as a means to further explore the world the main character finds himself in but also allows the reader to get to know the main character in deeper detail. Not only is the tale a journey of the heart and soul but also a journey into myriad realms, realms which has Longcroft as its focus.
I also can’t help feeling that this journey with the main character is also a journey with Simon; even though I’ve yet to meet the Marshall-Jones’, it feels as if I know them well, to some degree. Putting that much of yourself into a tale you’ve written could be a risk, but here it comes across as something exciting and beautiful, a tale beautifully told and explored.
The second tale, Feathers, is simply beautiful. Taking place in both the past and the present, it is an exploration of love, longing, memory and the magic all of these can create together.
And the third, Leaves, is a clever, wonderful tale of a boy, his Auntie and their adventures. As both the closing of a circle and the beginning of a new cycle, it’s a surprising, wonderful tale.
I give this collection a resounding 10 / 10 for its inventiveness, soul and uncompromising beauty. Wonderful stuff! 🙂
Until next time,