Tuesday, June 5, 2012
That's what the folks who put together the Burning Bridges anthology did. When life (a small publishing house) gave them lemons (blatantly copied cover art), they made it into lemonade (a collection of kick-ass stories).
Each piece involves a character permanently ending something--a relationship, a job... a bridge. This theme spreads across many genres, sci-fi, crime, literary, and horror all make appearances.
Paul Brazill is as brilliant as ever with "The Beginning of the End." A pair of jilted, murderous lovers hole up in the same hotel in this topsy-turvy tale. Brazill weaves together multiple storylines deftly and ends it with a sharp payoff.
Julia Madeleine's "Unforgettable" details the suicidal tirade of a woman who was on the wrong end of one too many bad relationships. I saw the ironic ending before it happened, but that made it no less satisfying! A very tasty tale.
"A Freeway on Earth" by Heath Lowrance is an absurdist masterpiece. Our narrator is running late for work--again--and bracing himself for the inevitable thrashing his supervisor is all-too-willing to dish out. He blazes down the interstate, but gosh darn it, obstacles blockade him at every turn--a hideous car accident, a pregnant woman in a cab about to give birth, and, of course, an alien invasion. It's the kind of satire of modern life that Lowrance does so well.
Darren Sant's "Punishment/Lola" reminds us that it's never a good idea to fuck your boss' spouse. Especially when your boss is a criminal. Or does it? This is a fast-paced tale with some excellent dialog.
Plenty of other good stuff in here, including a revenge classic by Allan Leverone and a couple of degenerates sweating it out in McDroll's "No Turning Back." Highly recommended.
On an unrelated note, Pablo D'Stair and I have a conversation about genre and literary fiction over here. It's a four-part series being published by a Sri Lankan newspaper. Previously, Pablo had a very interesting dialog with author Caleb Ross. Next month he'll talk with Nigel Bird.