cover image Clockwork Phoenix 4

Clockwork Phoenix 4

Mike Allen. Mythic Delirium, $15.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-0-9889124-0-3

Allen’s fourth anthology of “beauty and strangeness,” the first in the series to be launched via crowdfunding Web site Kickstarter and published under Allen’s Mythic Delirium label, brings together 18 new and veteran authors whose stories go from gloomy to morose. Within that range, the stories are diverse. Yves Meynard’s “Our Lady of the Thylacines” is a tale of a young woman embracing her adrenalin-filled destiny. Alisa Alering’s “The Wanderer King” depicts a society collapsed into mutual extermination, and Barbara Krasnoff’s “The History of Soul 2065” manages to find a happy face for encroaching mortality. Of particular note is Gemma Files’s “Trap-Weed”; in its way the mirror image of the Meynard, it follows a Selkie determined to reject both the ways of its people and those of the humans it encounters. While not especially memorable, the anthology is solidly competent, and its Kickstarter success bodes well for the future of the series. (July)