cover image Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons: Stories

Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons: Stories

Keith Rosson. Meerkat, $16.95 trade paper (204p) ISBN 978-1-946154-52-1

With this excellent collection of 15 jagged, fragmented pieces, dark fantasist Rosson (The Mercy of the Tide) subverts expectations and challenges his characters and his readers alike to second-guess their preconceptions. Evil is just as likely to spring from daily life as to lunge out of the supernatural in these disquieting tales. “Gifts,” a lacerating story of urban insurrection, feels firmly rooted in reality, except that some combatants are described in passing as “magicians.” The premises often look like very dark Monty Python sketches. What happens, for example, in “Baby Jill,” when the Tooth Fairy stops merely collecting teeth and begins worrying about the welfare of the children she visits? And, in “Yes, We Are Duly Concerned with Calamitous Events,” how quickly will social norms devolve among a group of office workers who become trapped in their building for weeks? No one is safe, not even the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who appear in “The Lesser Horsemen” as God decides to modernize. These powerful stories will leave readers unsettled in the best ways. (Feb.)