by Avis Hickman-Gibbs
collection is all about moving on, and deals with migration in all its
various guises: physical, emotional, geographic and spiritual. Overall
it is a mixed bag, but kicks off with a powerful and satisfying trio of
connected stories, beautifully paced and well crafted. They tell an
extended story, and weave the whole from different points of view and
Storms gives us a
strong opening, and introduces us to Nash and the amoral Caitlin. The
conflict between these two builds almost from page one, until Nash is
shockingly forced to confront his dissatisfaction with how heís living
his life. This pattern is reflected in the third story, A Fatherís Peace,
and we discover Nashís history and his grief over events, past and
future, which heís powerless to change. Although the second story, Garden in Drought,
is more properly Nashís fatherís story, and is about coming to terms -
with life, with neighbours and with pesky thieves - as Nashís father
would probably say ďThe fruit donít fall far from the tree.Ē
The Sea in These Hills
is a three-stage story, but for me it is over long, and rambles on a
little too much. That said, I found the first and last parts engage the
reader, and take you with the hero on his long journey, and not just in
geographical terms. You watch him grow up over a good many years. But I
think it would definitely benefit from being broken up into the three
and Laws of Gravity,
are both beautifully detailed, but move the least. They are more of a
meander, and while embracing the overall theme, for me, they are a
little too drawn out. I feel they could really benefit from editing;
severe editing. I have to say that I think these three are the weakest
offerings but, even so, they are still very well written.
then we pick up pace with Windship
Universe Floats to Earth, which provides some leavening to
what is quite a serious mixture, and is amusing in a brown rice and
mouse-that-roared kind of way. I didnít identify with the heroine at
all, but thatís just me; that said, it did keep me reading - out of
curiosity - and made me smile at the end.
And though Fairweather,
Colorado more than meets all the criteria for the book
(Moving on, migrating etc) it feels Ö a little self conscious in
construction, and formulaic in its delivery. But nevertheless, it still
has great charm to it, so itís really not such a wooden peg!
for me, the collection ended as it began; with a strong, well
structured gem - the marvellous Regaining
Flight. This is a delightfully told tale of two
love-battered people, circling their attraction to one another, while
weighing up whether itís really worth starting out on another romance.
It left me hoping they make it. It was nice to read that this story is
also the authorís favourite from the collection. Maybe itíll be yours.
Get yourself a copy and find out.
in Suffolk, England with her husband, one son and two cats. She gained
a BSc. in Environmental Chemistry more years ago than she cares to
admit, and worked in the fledgling computer industry whilst still a
babe-in-arms. Sheís had stories in Every Day Fiction, Twisted Tongue,
PygmyGiant, BackhandStories, Boston Literary Magazine, Short Humour,
The Ranfurly Review StaticMovement, Microhorror, Bewildering Stories
& The Shine Journal. Sheís currently working on a book of short
stories and a novel but is addicted to writing flash fiction.
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Schanbacher was raised amidst the rich storytelling tradition
of southeastern Virginia. Educated at Randolph-Macon College and Old
Dominion University, Schanbacher moved to Colorado to continue his
graduate studies at the University of Colorado where he earned a PhD in
economics and nurtured an emerging love of fly-fishing. During his
career in industry and academics, Gary continued to pursue his literary
interests. His stories have appeared in numerous journals, such as
Colorado Review, South Dakota Review, and The William and Mary Review.
He and his wife live in Littleton, Colorado. Migration Patterns is his
first collection of short fiction.
with Gary Schanbacher
Buy this book (used or
Publisher's Website: Fulcrum
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