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Book Review

Book Cover

Dark Glass


Edited by: Pete Butler
RRP: £9.99, US $12.00
ISBN: 978 0 578 03103 3
Available 31 August 2009

Triangulation is an anthology of short stories all around a common theme, this year the team have gone for ‘Dark Glass’ and allowed each individual author to interpret this as they see fit. What emerges is a book of sixteen short stories which range from fantasy to science fiction...

Triangulation: Dark Glass runs to 152 pages this year, so represents good value for money. The overall quality of the stories are those that you would expect to see in a prozine. In the previous six years most of the contributions have come from those involved with PARSEC, but this year thing have gone international with contributions from a wider range of newish authors. With imaginations allowed to run wild some of the stories are especially worth a mention.

The Milton Feinhoff Problem, by Mark Onspaugh kicks off with Milton coming down stairs only to find another copy of himself eating waffles. Straight away you know you’re in for a weird ride and Onspaugh does not disappoint as the number of Milton’s grow they start to outnumber the non-Miltons. The story is mostly written for its whimsy value and there is nothing wrong with that, it certainly made me smile.

On the creepier side St. Darwin’s Spirituals, by D. K. Thompson, has taken Victorian London and filled it full of ghosts. It is an odd mixture of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Jack the Ripper as our protagonist goes in search of a particularly nasty killer of prostitutes. The story really was a pleasure to read, so much so that I don’t see why the author couldn’t extend the concept to a full novel.

Imaginal Friend by Kenneth B. Chiacchia has that key ingredient which many short stories are lacking, a compelling and genuinely disturbing central idea, which plays out to a satisfying conclusion. It’s short and punchy, but really well constructed.

Perchance to Dream by D. J. Cockburn gives us an unusual look at the afterlife where the old gods still exist but don’t quite understand why none of their deceased worshipers ever turn up. Although as a short story it had some nice twists, overall this idea is not original.

Broken Things by Kathryn Board tells the sweet tale of a girl who inherits a genie only to have broken its bottle, without a replacement the genie will turn mortal. Once again the author pulls out an unexpected but logically obvious solution to the problem.

Souls on Display by Kurt Kirchmeier is an unusual story of growing up in a land where not only souls exist but they are also external to the owner's body. The obvious problem here is what happens if you break it.

Seeing is by Craige Wolf is another disturbing little number about a young child who encounters an eye, which promises to share everything it sees, but for a price.

The other stories in the collection are Monstrous Embrace (Rachel Swirsky), Dancing Lessons (Aaron Polson), Deadglass (Lon Prater), More Things in Heaven and Earth (Jason Chapman), On the Path (Kelly A. Harmon), Audition for Evil (Amy Treadwell), One Touch to Remember (David Seigler), and A More Beautiful Monster (Loretta Sylvestre).

It’s a nice, inexpensive collection with some real gems; once again Pete Butler has done a great job of gathering together some interesting new authors. One thing I did notice was the divide between the male and female authors, with the former tending towards science fiction and the latter fantasy.


Charles Packer

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