Towards our era’s bespoke gestalt…

The Big Book of Modern Fantasy

Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

To be bounded or to bound

Extract from my real-time review of ‘The Big Book of Modern Fantasy’ edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer here:


This is one of Leonora Carrington’s paintings, that seems perfectly to match her own story below about the combined state of being blessed with fantasy wings and being earthen bounded, and, not only that, but also with the Fra Angelico story above…and with this book’s gestalt so far.

by Leonora Carrington

“Pigs have an angel.”

“Quietly Maria set down the pail of water and walked north towards the Pyramid of the Moon.”

This tale feels like a Jungian Archetype, one that I have lived through all my life, although I don’t think I have read it before.
The story of a boy called Juan and a free-wheeling audit trail of surreal events in battling a mysogyny with promise of impossible mangoes. An Earth alive wherein one can travel, as through Nemonymous Night. Even being able to feed the Earth. And wherein lives a Black Mole and, in view of this book’s earlier mole king, I was somehow not surprised when it said to Juan: “Do not be afraid, Juan, this is only a first death, and you will be alive again soon.” The scenes with Maria are rhapsodic as well as dark with a hollow man that might have derived from T.S. Eliot. And a dog that brings separated pieces of your body together as gestalt…to ever return to Earth as a God, or Goddess. Perhaps the Mole was right, all along! And just like in the above Pat Murphy…. ”They jumped into the fire and ascended […] to join the Evening Star.”

My previous review of Leonora Carrington:

Cross-referenced above with ‘Trading Polaris’ by Ursula Pflug:

Grotesquerie – Richard Gavin


My previous reviews of this author: 

Omens by Richard Gavin 

Primeval Wood – by Richard Gavin

Sylvan Dread – Richard Gavin

Plus a number of stories in anthologies linked from

And my previous reviews of this publisher:

When I read this book, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…