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Rustblind and Silverbright - A Slipstream Anthology of Railway Stories
Edited by David Rix
Review by Mario Guslandi
Eibonvale Press Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781908125262
Date: 04 July 2013 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Publisher's Book Page / Show Official Info /

Defined as a "slipstream anthology of railway stories", Rustblind and Silverbright contains twenty-four tales ranging from horror to SF, where trains represent a key element of the plot, either because the events take actually place on a train or because they are set in the world surrounding the running wagons. A train ride combines the charm of a journey taking passengers to their destinations (a home, a resort, or just an unknown place where one may run and hide from a grim reality) with the feelings elicited by the fleeting glimpses of backyards, fields, unfamiliar skylines, and stations.

The stories, interwoven with insightful commentaries by editor David Rix, offer a variety of atmospheres and situations, making the book a compelling and satisfying mix of reading material. Obviously, not every tale is accomplished or memorable, but some are truly excellent.

Allen Ashley's "On the Level" is a nostalgic, effective story where memories of teenage bands and love stories mix with the constant noise of running trains and with the tragic ending of a girlfriend.

Christopher Harman's "Sleepers" is an Aickmanesque trip into weirdness for two touring people where trains are ghosts of the past and images of the future.

Douglas Thompson contributes "Sunday Relatives" where traveling by train becomes a metaphor of life, seasons, and images from the past still linger on the compartment seats.

To me the highlights of the volume are the stories penned by Nina Allan, Steve Rasnic Tem and John Greenwood.

Allan's "Vivian Guppy and the Brighton Belle" is an engrossing piece describing the long and hard quest for a car wagon belonging to an old electric toy train linked to memories and secrets.

In Tem's superb "Escape on a Train", a train rides towards an unfathomable future while outside its windows, far away in time and space, horrific events take place.

"Didcotts" is a riveting piece full of mystery, displaying Greenwood's terrific storytelling ability, where a computer salesman traveling by train in a foreign country has to face a quite disturbing adventure.
Other contributors to the volume are: Andrew Hook, Aliya Whiteley, John Howard, Joel Lane, Daniella Geary, SJ Fowler, Rhys Hughes, Marion Pitman, RD Hodkinson,David McGRoarty, Danny Rhodes,Cjarles Wilkinson, Gavin Salisbury, Jet McDonald, Andrew Coulthard, Steven Pirie, Rosanne Rabinowitz and Matt Joiner.

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