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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Book Review: "We Are Now" featuring Neil Vogler, Sean Craven and P.T. Dilloway

I like to hear about new digital publishing projects, and December House intrigued me with their flash fiction month. During November, the innovative new publisher posted new flash fiction stories from three up and coming authors. These were available to read for free for the duration of the month (I know, free literature can't be bad, eh?). Come December, the stories were gathered into an ebook collection: We Are Now.

In general, the stories have a sci-fi feel, whether it's Vogler's astonishing 'Tripler' series, Craven's ongoing biological sci-fi series, or P.T. Dilloway's characters who are swept up in a time tsunami ('We Are Now'). The stories have in common, an impressive originality, and were a fantastic change from what I normally read. 

While I'd be the first to admit I'm not a hard core sci-fi fan, I like to be an open reader. My preference was for Vogler's writing, which demonstrates great skill in storytelling. My enjoyment of his writing is not surprising though, considering I first encountered Neil when accepting submissions for Writer Bites. He stood out then as someone to watch, and my opinion has been reinforced by this collection. 

Craven's ongoing story featuring Henry, was not as much to my taste, though the additional material in the ebook greatly enlightened me. I enjoyed his notes on the inspiration behind his Henry stories, and I appreciated his inventiveness and obsession with the science behind his stories. 

Dilloway's stories are perhaps the most varied in the collection, spanning zombies, vampires, gods, and monsters. While many of these tales are quite "far out", he shows a wonderful ability to normalise these  far-fetched ideas with characters who are believable and have real heart. 

This collection offers readers a highly original and wonderfully varied collection of short fiction. 

Order the ebook: We Are Now - Flash Fiction Collection (Flash Fiction Fest)

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