Ghosts, shamans, aliens, angels and the weirdness of life all make their appearance in this new collection of Rosalie Parker’s strange tales. Her stories depict subtly shifting realities, and celebrate the fluidity of the barrier between the uncanny and the everyday. These twenty-five stories vary from contes to longer pieces, and explore the traditions of the weird tale in fresh and original ways.
This is my second trip into the imagination of Rosalie Parker, co-publisher of the fabulous Tartarus Press and editor of their Strange Tales series although the two collections of hers that I've read have been released by fellow Yorkshire publishing house PS Publishing. Like the previous volume (Damage), 'Through the Storm', consists of a large number of fairly short tales (often between 5 and 10 pages in length) that explore matters strange and again like the previous there is a distinctly bucolic air to the stories with Parker taking a delight in the elemental settings such as the moors and the sea and finding little to recommend in domesticity or security.
For me she is always at her best when she's letting her imagination fly off in the most unexpected directions at which point her work resonates most loudly and shimmers with uncanny life such as in 'The Cinema' or when she goes for the heart like in 'Fever' where we find the venerable master of the weird still exploring the byways of his beloved London and finding solace in the now ancient soil of his own Caerleon and still sharing those adventures with those who need them.
'Through the Storm' is one of those curious books that seems like it should whizz past. Each story takes no more than a few minutes to read but I quickly found myself eking it out over the course of several weeks and dipping in each day eager to see where she was taking me today.
Read Rosalie's '3 Wyrd Things' here.
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