Seven Crow Stories

Robert J. Wiersema. ChiZine (Consortium, U.S. dist.; PGC/Raincoast, Canadian dist.), $16.99 trade paper (219p) ISBN 978-1-77148-395-7
This evocative short story collection is Wiersema’s first; his novels (Black Feathers and others) likewise often contain a lyrical seam of fantasy. “Grateful” acts as an introduction to this anthology and presents the leitmotif that colors the seven remaining stories: life-changing decisions. Phantoms, alternate worlds, and the fear of being ordinary entwine with and enrich this theme. Readers will find meetings with the devil in “Crossroad Blues,” and with ghosts in “Tom Chesnutt’s Midnight Blues,” “The Crying in the Walls,” and “The Small Rain Down.” The story “Blessing” gives readers a glimpse of primordial magic, while “The Last Circus” presents them with magic of a very different sort. The stories were written over a span of 25 years and the collection is somewhat uneven as a result, but, in an interesting afterword, Wiersema explains that he resisted the urge to “smooth out” the stories because each story is “to me, something of a peculiar marker, a glimpse of where I was as I was writing, who I was at that particular moment.” His charming, conversational reflections on the genesis of the tales, this collection, and the writing process enhance the eerily entertaining fiction. Agent: Chris Bucci, McDermid Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-77148-396-4
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