Posted 20 hours ago

Parallel Hells

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There are a lot of turns of phrase that I lingered on because they were either quite romantic or just particularly lovely to read. Lots of queer rep though, and a few stories really grabbed my attention, especially the longer ones where the characters and the story arc felt more fleshed out. A lot of stories here as well as being surreal fantasy horror pieces involve resolutions of this kind of inner conflict by the protagonist.

Stan believes “the photographs, and Gary’s silence, seemed to amount to something… they constituted a challenge. Even when Yves introduces himself later in the narrative as Michael, the eerie character of “Stoker” is indelible, a second skin we can’t peel away. Her academic work focuses on contemporary trauma literature and theory but her freelance and creative work covers any and all topics, particularly those which deal with the horrors of capitalism and issues of gender and class. But again, this is consistently reimagined, and the narratives never get predictable, largely due to Craig’s wide-ranging source material and the richness of folklore and mythology used to tell tales of outsiders, transformation and reconfiguration.

Each story deals, in some way, with what it means to move through the world at an angle to the perceived norm. I can't say anything else except to repeat that this collection was a tremendous disappointment though I have hopes that other writings by this author might not be.

stars rounded up because I am a firm believer that anyone who refers to librarians as oafs deserves to suffer.The stories are in a very short space of time able to give you this intense burst of emotional connection to characters that are either very human or very intentionally NOT, but allows you to empathise with them all the same. She has had previous work published in The Sundae, Digital Fix, Bindweed Magazine, The Independent and Refinery29. This book is best consumed in multiple sittings, but with the rule of reading a full story every time. Varied and fast-paced these short stories contain lots of strange and terrifying situations and characters.

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