cover image The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories

The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories

Joanne Anderton. FableCroft (, $22.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-9807770-9-3

Broken families in desperate situations are the core of Australian author Anderton’s debut collection. Billed as horror, it leans toward the apocalyptic and the fantastic rather than driving straight for scares. Regardless of setting, the stories focus on defiance of authority and the desperate lengths to which individuals will go to defend their fragments of family. Protagonists stand up to genocidal AIs (the title story), greedy desert towns (“Flowers in the Shadow of the Garden”), and the menace of faraway cities (“Shadow of Drought”). Spending little time on setup and backstory, Anderton (Debris) dives straight into the heart of the action, often starting well after one apocalypse or another in a parched, dead land. More moving than terrifying, the collection explores the human condition with vigor and grace. (May)