Edited by Stephen Thompson
Review by Mario Guslandi
The Specusphere/Esstee Media Paperback/ebook ISBN/ITEM#: 978 0975816776
Date: 29 April 2012
Links: Specusphere Website /
The Specusphere is a well-known Australian webzine devoted to speculative fiction, which usually publishes articles, reviews, and short stories , mostly by Aussie authors. The editorial team debuts now with an anthology featuring thirteen original tales exploring the many faces of speculative fiction.
Therein we find fantasy tales, such as Kelly Dillon's "In Paradise, Trapped", revised mythology (e.g. NA Sulway's "The Salted Heart" and Donna Maree Hanson's "Through These Eyes I See") and fairy tales such as "Brothers" by Sue Burstynkski, providing an amazing new take of the Snow White canon, or "Holly and Iron" by Nigel Read, a gentle story where the worlds of the wild forest and of town life meet by means of a skilled blacksmith.
The most accomplished stories, worth a special mention, are, in my opinion, those penned by Satima Flavell, Steven Gepp, Tom Williams, and Jen White.
. Flavell contributes "La Belle Dame", an enticing fable where a fatale inhuman creature lures men by engulfing them in a net of eroticism and lust.
Gepp's "Glorious Destiny" is a splendid piece of historical fiction, revisiting and reshuffling some myths of ancient Greece.
Set in an imaginary planet, the moving and compelling "Man's Best Friend" by Tom Williams explores human behaviour in a small community of immigrants from Earth.
Jen White provides "Wetlands", an allusive SF tale, unearthing some secrets from Australian past and folklore.
All in all, an interesting book which includes good short fiction by a group of writers probably little known to American readers but who certainly deserve wider recognition outside Australia.