TTA PRESS 2018
My previous reviews of this publisher: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tta-press-interzone-black-static/
Fiction by Ralph Robert Moore, Steven Sheil, Joanna Parypinski, Giselle Leeb, Nicholas Kaufmann.
Much Horror non-fiction material is also in this magazine. When I read the fiction, my thoughts on it will appear in the comment stream below…
It is possible that I shall not be able to commence reading this until after any seasonal business!
CHINA by Ralph Robert Moore
“, and isn’t it strange we talk so often about childhood after fucking, he happened to mention digging a hole…”
Digging a whole hole, digging with others, or alone, digging across time or digging a chain of wholes between eras of his life, this story of Tim, a name that has “I” embedded and CHAIN and CHINA, too, has an “I” moving (the narrative changes inexplicably to first person from third person at one point for a while) in this strong novelette… about Tim’s relationship as a boy with his small sister and father, then with the women on reception, and finally with Jackie whose father acts like Trump. Jackie, who miscarries his child. Red ketchup on a pizza. And when I say this is strong, it sort of does things with my mind you wouldn’t credit, as perhaps I have just demonstrated. No way, meanwhile, that I can reconcile its perceived cruelties disguised as raging loyalties or laid-bare anger-tantrums, no way, that is, other than by becoming myself the person embedded in the ineluctable thrust of words describing him while reading them. His sister’s name was Kristi.
My previous reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/ralph-robert-moore/
CORA by Steven Sheil
“She tried to keep away from the hole in the wall. Tried to tell herself that no good could come of it.”
I don’t think I have been so creeped out by a story since I read in an Aickman one about a horse moving about on a bedroom roof at night. This woman – whose character is made sufficiently clear when we witness her relationship with the checkout girl at the local shop – has had various next-door neighbours over the years whom she can spy on via a secret hole in the wall, but when the family moves in with the eponymous little girl as one of their children, it becomes more than just loose change, but a monstrous settlement in full. Dare not tell you more as I don’t want to spoil the hole I looked through to read this story.
THE HOUSE OF Y by Joanna Parypinski
“, the black hole that will unmake us all;”
Y is a bifurcation of “I” or a self’s choice of forked roads, or it’s one half of “my” versus the other half as m for mother. With an irony of chromosomes, this work has a strong gothic prose depicting a sorority at a university that takes place when the academic terms are in abeyance. A white-clad ritual with the pent up secrets that the female narrator likens to those different secrets in the misty chants of a Catholic upbringing. Eventually, we see the sorority’s breasts revealed, and vice versa. A revelation that genuinely raises the readers’ eyebrows. A tale that tells of a womanly, womb-holed generation in rebellion against a previous generation’s inability to be ‘special’. Taken to such an extreme, even subsuming is preferable to consuming. X marks the spot, Y the hole to be dug there?
My previous two reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/joanna-parypinski/
EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT PLACE by Giselle Leeb
“, twisting and turning in the hot, tight sleeping bag,…”
A remarkable vision of a nostalgia of a nostalgia, where a cyborg-human revisits the bland civilised mœurs of a 2018 country holiday campsite with ping pong table, neat borders and convenient conveniences, a place where we ‘pure humans’ once played at living. I dare not even adumbrate where this singular tourist’s journey with a ticket for such an experience takes you, for fear you will recognise your own future for what it once was, as you adjust your detachable eye (or “I”?) to look better through Sheil’s earlier crack or hole in the wall at your next door neighbours for real. Everybody knows that place. As you follow.
My previous review of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/best-british-short-stories-2017/#comment-11712
THE FIFTH HORSEMAN by Nicholas Kaufmann
“…the opening at the end of the gun stared at him like an angry eye, a black hole into infinity.”
Blending the Moore with the Parypinski, a deity, like God, as a force for indifference or something far more significant? We are about to hear the answer, but is it hokum or a cosmic truth? This work gives a good impression of being the former. “It’s a ridiculous fiction, one you would hardly deem worthy of teaching in your literature class, but it was what […] wanted to hear.” Use ‘you’ to replace whatever was already in my square bracketed exegesis? Or is this work a disguise for something far more significant, something disarming you, something putting you off the scent with a merely workmanlike, if creditable, tale of university academic circles, sexual jealousy and other liaisons among the academics, a backstory or racial blackstory concerning police tactics, a mummified monster or god brought back from far off climes as part of an academic anthropology expedition, a horror that induces suicide…? “Were they connected or a coincidence?”
“Even I know God is bigger than a single book.”
My previous review of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/black-static-63/#comment-12751
end of the fiction in this magazine