gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
gfx gfx
gfxgfx
 
Got a few minutes to kill? Try the Doom Flash Challenge afro - http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php/board,36.0.html
 
gfx gfx
gfx
55850 Posts in 6180 Topics by 556 Members - Latest Member: wallynicholson666 December 16, 2017, 02:02:48 AM
*
gfx* HomeForumHelpLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: This is the Quickest Way Down by Charles Christian  (Read 1063 times)
marc_chagall
Guest
« on: March 20, 2012, 09:01:27 AM »



This is the Quickest Way Down
by Charles Christian

Proxima (Salt Publishing)
ISBN 9781844719235
£8.99 | $14.95


One of the basic rules of novel-writing states that if you set something up in chapter one, don’t let it slip away and be developed no further. Finish it. Give it a conclusion, ideally at the end of the novel so that the gestalt is complete. Short story collections are different of course. Or are they? On finishing the last story in Charles Christian’s new collection, ‘This is the Quickest Way Down’, I suddenly had a light bulb moment and went back to re-read the first story. Yes. I was right. I’m saying no more on that subject for fear of spoilers, but I salute whoever it was, whether editor or author, who decided on the order of the stories in this collection.

Re-reading the first story has got me hooked once again. These are magnificent short stories by a master of the genre, and they beg to be read many times. What genre, though – there’s the question. ‘Short story’ in itself isn’t a genre. The settings in these tales range from Norfolk to Aldebaran; from Nottingham to Villefranche; and all points in-between. These stories are fantasist but not fantasy – you’ll find no elves and goblins. Sci-fi then? Yes, but firmly rooted in reality – the Klingon warrior maid, complete with fearsome bat’leth blade, actually hales from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Magical realism? Not really. Slipstream? Yes. That’s it. Slipstream with ghosts, but such a firm grip on reality anything paranormal becomes essential and unsurprising; an integral part of the world that requires no further explanation.

There is a lightness of touch in these tales, but there is no superficiality. There are many familiar tropes, but they’ve been turned on their heads and given a stunning reworking. Cataclysms lead to a weird sort of utopia. Redemption is found unexpectedly. Murders, sexual encounters, tsunamis, explosions and foiled suicide attempts are played out against the backdrop of a cup of mocha slowly cooling.

I love these stories. Absolutely love them. There are hints of Asimov, of Hemmingway, of – I don’t know, everyone from the Strugatsky brothers to Neville Shute via James Joyce and Evelyn Waugh. They are stories overflowing with intelligence, with wit, and with keen observation of human foibles. I want to know when the next collection is coming out, and the novel – preferably the series of novels. How about it, Charles?

Logged
Ed
The Mastah, muahahaaaa....
Administrator
***

Karma: +6/-1
Offline Offline

Posts: 11069


Don't look behind you!!!!!


« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 05:17:08 PM »

Sounds great. Thanks for posting the review afro
Logged

Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
marc_chagall
Guest
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 06:01:35 PM »

You're welcome. This is seriously the best short story collection I've read in a very long time.
Logged
Pharosian
Obelizer
Critter
***

Karma: +6/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 1623



« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 12:14:50 AM »

Intriguing. I'll have to check this out!
Logged
gfx
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
gfx
Jump to:  
gfx
Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Page created in 0.065 seconds with 29 queries.
Helios /
gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!