On the gritty backstreets of a crumbling city, tough dames and dangerous men trade barbs, witticisms and a few gunshots. But there’s a new twist where urban decay meets the eldritch borders of another world: WEIRD NOIR. Featuring thugs who sprout claws and fangs, gangsters with tentacles and the occasional succubus siren. The ambience is pure noir but the characters aren’t just your average molls and mugs—the vamps might just be vamps. It’s Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson or Dashiell Hammett filtered through H. P. Lovecraft. Mad, bad and truly dangerous to know, but irresistible all the same….
I will be the first to admit that I am not normally a huge fan of the short story form, so this was a jolly good wake-up call to my previous avoidance of them, maybe having read too many bad ones- so thank you contributors! What strikes me most about this collection is the sheer quality of writing on display, and the imaginative mix of ideas on show, to fulfil the remit of crossing genres in such a condensed writing form. I have a personal mission this year to read more ‘crossover’ crime so found this collection a perfect start to my year of discovery, and the neat con-struction of these strange and satisfying tales will certainly encourage me to read more short fiction. A tales of the unexpected for a new generation…
It is hard to single out the best of this collection, as I genuinely enjoyed the dark depths of all these stories,and the clever manipulation and resonance of classic noir, melded with supernaturalism. If pinned to the floor by a raging succubus in fear of my very life, I may concede that the ones I particularly enjoyed were ‘Black Moon Rising’ by Paul D. Brazill, featuring werewolf P.I. Roman Dalton, Andrez Bergen’s ‘East of Ecarte’ which made me feel that I’d wandered into the darkest recesses of Raymond Chandler’s imagination, and Hector Acosta’s ‘Across The Border’ which tapped in perfectly to my morbid fascination with anything to do with border crossings from Mexico. Overall, a brilliantly tough talking, visceral and disturbing collection, and what’s even better a whole batch of, certainly to me, new authors that I will be keen to read again.
But in an insanely enjoyable way…
(With stories from Chloë Yates, Richard Godwin, Karina Fabian, Hector Acosta, Jan Kozlowski, Andrez Bergen, Carol Borden, Paul D. Brazill, Jennifer Martin, Katherine Tomlinson, Jason Michel, Asher Wismer, Michael S. Chong, Leeyanne Moore, Christopher L. Irvin, Joyce Chng, W. P. Johnson and an introduction by K.A.Laity)
K. A. Laity is the author of the novels Owl Stretching, Pelzmantel, The Mangrove Legacy, Chastity Flame and the collections Unquiet Dreams and Unikerja as well as editor of Weird Noir and writer of other stories, plays and essays. Her stories tend to slip across genres and categories, but all display intelligence and humour. Myths and fairy tales influence much of her writing. The short stories in Unikirja found their inspiration from The Kalevala, Kanteletar, and other Finnish myths and legends: the stories won the 2005 Eureka Short Story Fellowship and a 2006 Finlandia Foundation grant. Find out more here: http://kalaity.com/
Just click on the cover picture for a link to the ebook!
(I read this book in Mobi format supplied by, and with thanks to, K.A. Laity)
Many thanks for a thoughtful review! I can say without reservation that I am proud of this bunch of scribes, our Fox Spirit team and faboo cover artist. I love it when a plan comes together — enough that I’m now thinking NOIR CARNIVAL.
My pleasure Kate and have enjoyed having the scales shed from my eyes regarding short stories. I will be searching out more I can tell you 🙂
Well, if you enjoyed Mr B’s story so much, you have to check out the Drunk on the Moon collections!
Reblogged this on K. A. Laity and commented:
Chuffed I must say! Tip o’ the chapeau to Chris Irvin who urged me to send off the review copy here.
In one way this would be a real departure for me as I typically don’t do that sort of urban decay/noir/nearly-but-not-quite paranormal stuff. But this sounds quirkily interesting and I always admire and respect authors who try new things – who don’t do the ‘same old, same old’ all the time. And what I like about short story collections is that one gets to sample all sorts of different authors.
Thanks Margot! I have been naughty in my avoidance of short stories and if this hadn’t been suggested to me I think I would’ve missed out on an absolute treat. A lot of talent in this one!
Reblogged this on ROMAN DALTON P.I. and commented:
Tasty shout out to Roman!
I think Roman rocks! Thanks for the reblog Paul 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for the nice review! Glad you enjoyed the book.