Twiglight Candleflies is a collection of three post apocalyptic short fiction stories, written by Scott Niven.
The three stories presented here are told in different styles and set in different worlds but all have a post apocalyptic edge to them. While each is a fairly short and sweet story they all manage to get their different messages across very effectively.
The quality of the writing for all three stories is very high, engaging and very easy to read - as such the book itself seems even shorter as the pages pass quickly by. I really liked the style of these tales, they somewhat reminded me of the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits stories I used to watch when younger, each managing to clearly get across their message and each with a different, distinct feel to them.
Last School of Humanities
This is a story that's clearly set in a post apocalyptic USA and examines the question of Order versus Chaos - which could also be seen as good versus evil and makes a good (albeit brief) attempt at examining the human condition. On one side we have Jana who has managed to create some semblence of order in the wasteland, caring for orphaned children and raising crops and livestock.
On the other side is someone who delights in the random, the chaotic and the destructive, he leads a band of men who carve a path of death and destruction. The story has a nice twist at the end is a vivid and introspective story which is both emotive and thoughtful.
This is Not Your Mother's Earth
This is the shortest story of the three and features Bill, an 18 year old who has already become one of the most successful males on his planet - for making love to women. For this he becomes a world hero, but the way they honour their hero's is quite different to what we are used to.
Essentially this is a story about equality and morality, narrated in a simple style that gives little backstory away and yet hold's the reader in a vice like grip with it's easy going and subtle humour.
Five Minutes for the World
Gates always looked forward to his 5 minutes of viewing the lush green planet he is allocated every seventy three days, almost as much as he looks forward to Mate Day every 354 days, that is until the fateful Mate Day when he met Moxy. She planted a seed of doubt and after a bad viewing where he could see nothing but clouds he begins to examine his existence and dares ask the question - is there more?
This is an an examination about what we take for granted and asks the question, do we accept everything we are told at face value or is there more to our existence than meets the eye. In addition it's also an allegory on the control that governments have over peoples society and the illusion of free will.
All three tales are worth anyones time, written in a fresh and intelligent manner this is a short but sweet diversion that should appeal to all adult readers.
Written on 5th May 2011 by Ant.
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