Out of Water

Sarah Read. Trepidatio, $16.95 trade paper (242p) ISBN 978-1-950305-05-6
The 18 spellbinding stories in this dark fantasy collection from Read (The Bone Weaver’s Orchard) offer glimpses into beguiling and treacherous worlds. In the twisted fairy tale “Tall Grass, Shallow Water,” an underwater monster uses a foundling she has raised to girlhood as bait to lure humans to their deaths. “Crosswind” tells of a grieving storm-chaser who encounters a personified Tempest and questions her on a massive upcoming storm. When the painter-turned-grave-robber who narrates “Still Life with Natalie,” describes his work as “askew, slanted... a whole new way to look at graves, at flowers,” he could just as easily be describing the delightfully peculiar perspective that Read brings to all of her tales. Others in Read’s eccentric cast include a designer of cryptids, an archaeologist who is slowly turning into one of the bony artifacts she has unearthed, and subterranean dwellers who abduct human children. Though Read’s narratives are odd and dreamlike, her skill at laying bare human emotions makes the bizarre accessible. This collection is a must for lovers of arresting speculative fiction. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/24/2019
Release date: 11/01/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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