cover image Constellations of Ruin

Constellations of Ruin

Andrew S. Fuller. Trepidatio, $16.95 trade paper (252p) ISBN 978-1-68510-082-7

The 23 diverting speculative shorts of Fuller’s debut collection prove entirely transporting. Beginning with an account of a pioneer town beset by what can only be an extraterrestrial life force (“Another Country Doctor”), Fuller combines familiar landscapes with outlandish and often unexplained twists. In “The Circus Wagon,” a circus caravan follows a young man from his grandmother’s house to his own house, miles away, and wreaks destruction indiscriminately. Why? Is there a deeper meaning? It’s hard to say, and maybe it doesn’t matter; the point here is entertainment, and Fuller delivers throughout. Other stories have no grounding at all in the real world: Fuller takes readers to a spaceship overtaken by orange fungus in “Ina’s Day” and into an underwater city penetrable only by octopi in “Elizabeth’s Duty.” While none of these tales feel truly innovative, neither are they overly reliant on familiar tropes. Readers looking for escapist fantasies on the spooky side will welcome Fuller’s wide spectrum of invented fun. (May)