Sunday, February 24, 2008

Review: Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror 2006

Edited by Angela Challis & Shane Jiraiya Cummings
ISBN: 0 9802817 0 9
13-digit ISBN: 978-0-9802817-0-5
240 pages - B Format paperback

The Blurb

The dark age is here. For years, Australian dark fiction writers have toiled in the shadows at their craft. Australian dark fiction is now stronger than ever. This anthology features the very best Australian short stories, novelettes, and essays published in 2005 — including many award winners and nominees.

The Review

If you haven't had the opportunity to yet read this, get it - now!
I was blown away by the stories contained within its pages. It is a remarkable collection of the adjudged best of Australian Dark Fiction from those published in 2005.

"The Memory of Breathing" by Lyn Battersby is the first story. A tale of the future where those found guilty of murder or suicide are sentenced to a life as a reanimated corpse. This particular tale follows a young girl through her reanimation after she was particuarly naughty. It is an excellent story that involves the reader emotionally through to its surprising end.

Many more great short stories follow with different slants on old tales involving vampires, time travel, purgatory, Peter Pan and many others.

Combined with insightful and pertinent non-fiction pieces from some of Australia's best known dark fiction authors such as Robert Hood, Josephine Pennicott and James Doig, I found this anthology to be a great read from beginning to end.

I now eagerly await the arrival of (just ordered by me) the follow up book from 2006, and the 2007 edition which has just been released by the same publishers, Brimstone Press (which I have also just ordered).
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I urge you to do yourself a favour and order your copies now of all three.

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