Edited by DF Lewis
First collection? No
Authors DF Lewis (editor), William Meikle, Daniel Pearlman, DP Watt, SD Tullis, David F
Fitzpatrick, David V Griffin, Ursula Pflug, Andrew Hook, Joel Lane, Tim
Casson, Tony Lovell, Gary Fry, Derek John, Margaret B Simon, Mike
Chinn, Richard Gavin, Joseph S Pulver Sr, Reggie Oliver, Rachel
Kendall, Roy Gray, Cameron Pierce, Stephen Bacon, Mark Valentine, Steve
Rasnic Tem, Bob Lock, Tim Nickels.
"At that moment Tullis
heard a sound from behind him – a dry shuffling noise that could surely
only be the wind… At any rate he didn’t turn to look, rather kept his
gaze on the woman in front of him. She didn’t appear to have detected
any movement… so there simply couldn’t be any"
Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Is this Latin? Not quite, to the best of my knowledge. If my memory
serves me well it should be "nullus". Perhaps "null" is English and
"immortalis" is Latin. Whatever…
The book constitutes the
latest (and last) volume in the celebrated Nemonymous series, hence the
selection was probably still made by the editor on the basis of
anonymity, but the names of the authors are now immediately disclosed
to the reader.
The anthology assembles twenty-six stories of
various length, genre and tone. Some authors are renowned writers,
others are less known. Some stories are great, others simply
don’t succeed. That’s normal. Some of my favourite authors (Reggie
Oliver, Richard Gavin, Andrew Hook, Steve Rasnic Tem) seem a bit out of
shape, contributing material not really up to their usually high
standard. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of very good stuff
For instance Daniel Pearlman’s A Giant in the House is a well-crafted portrait of family life, featuring a man whose height
keeps decreasing with the passing of the years, and David V
Griffin’s Violette Doranges, an intriguing, delicate piece about an elusive girl whom we’ll never be able to properly meet.
David M Fitzpatrick provides the tense Lucien’s Menagerie, a fine example of excellent storytelling where a woman has to pay a singular price to get an inheritance from her ex-husband.
took a deep breath, shaking as he exhaled...You shouldn’t have to go
through this sick shit to get back what’s rightfully yours. But legally
I have an obligation to uphold... and if you deviate even one tiny bit
from that, my job is to make sure you don’t get this property."In Strings Attached
Gary Fry perfectly blends mundane matters (the business projects of a
rich retiree are hampered by a corrupted city officer) with dark
horrors returning from the past, while Derek John (Oblivion) cleverly investigates the secret of the long life span of the members of a distinguished family.
Joel Lane contributes The Drowned Market, a puzzling, compelling tale about a writer who takes a rejection the hard way and becomes a mystery himself.
must have given me the wrong folder," he said. "This isn’t a murder
story. I don’t know what it is. There’s death in it but not murder." In the amazing, quite effective Holesale, Rachel Kendall describes a wonderful trick by a master deceiver: "...he
couldn’t sell the holes fast enough. As soon as one was handed over,
another wad of notes was waved in front of his nose. People were biting
at their new packages, trying to tear them open."
In the gentle The Toymaker of Bremen,
by Stephen Bacon, we make the acquaintance of a little boy and a bunch
of playful children, whose happy existence is threatened by the dark
shadows of the war:
"His parents hugged him again, the air busy
with the sniffs of his mother as she dabbed at her face with a
handkerchief. Promises to return when the war was over..."
again, regardless of the personal taste of the reviewer, the
Nemonymous anthology has to be commended for the general good
quality of the included fiction, a trademark of the whole book
series. So, it’s with a feeling of sadness that we realize that the
Nemonymous saga is taking its leave and the original, interesting
experience of reading (and reviewing) anonymous fiction is
coming to an end. But editor Des Lewis is a resourceful man and I’m
sure that he’ll be back soon with new ideas and new anthologies.