The Best of British Fantasy 2018
By Jared Shurin
- The Best of British Fantasy 2018
Author: Jared Shurin
- ISBN: 978-1912950188
- Published: May 2019
- Pages: 254
- Format reviewed: Paperback
- Review date: 21/06/2019
- Language: English
An exciting collection of short stories, for many different tastes. I enjoyed them all. They vary from what looks like a traditional sword and sorcery tale (but is a lot else besides), to modern myths exploring identity and the impact of childhood neglect on the adult. The characters of these stories are sometimes ghostly, often magical, isolated, side-lined, or of dubious sanity. But the stories have great twists that challenge our preconceptions of reality, mental health, power and powerlessness.
I especially enjoyed stories where there is such a dislocation of reality that you no longer know if the unfolding tale is about fantasy or inner damage; if it's an actual ghost story or a metaphor for having to live our lives in an alienating world.
Suspenseful and well-written, most of them steer an alluring path between being emotional yet stylish, traditional yet meaningful, disturbing but psychologically consistent.
The cover suggested suitability for a younger readership, and I couldn’t help but think that the stories deserved a darker image. Somehow, gnomes and donkeys, rainbows and bees didn't cut the mustard for this sophisticated, brilliantly edited and introduced collection.
I also kept thinking, now that Black Mirror has nothing left to say, this collection relaunched with a more stylish cover, might catch the eye of producers who would know what to do with this highly imaginative work.
Written on 21st June 2019 by Irene Rosenfeld.