Monday, October 21, 2013

Title spotlight - "The Moon Will Look Strange" by Lynda E. Rucker

A while back, starting in college, for several years I drifted away from short fiction and focused exclusively on novels. But after a period of time I’ve noticed the discoveries of new writers were few and far in between and that led to a return and rediscovery of the shorter forms of fiction. To my great delight, to an enrichment of the list of favorite writers too. One such talented writer, who I discovered through two short stories, is Lynda E. Rucker. I first came across Lynda E. Rucker’s fiction in the 18th volume of the prestigious yearly horror anthology edited by Stephen Jones, “The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror”, where I read “The Last Reel” and that story was followed shortly after by “The Moon Will Look Strange” published in the excellent Black Static magazine. I admit, at first “The Moon Will Look Strange” didn’t look like much, but since then I read the story three times more, starting with the reprint in Paula Guran’s “The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2011”, and each time the tale grew on me. Since such a thing doesn’t happen too often it was something to be considered carefully. So, I’ve started to welcome with pleasure every new opportunity of reading Lynda E. Rucker’s stories. And not only, because she is now behind one of the comment columns of the Black Static magazine as well. Her column started with the 34th issue and although Lynda had to follow in the footsteps of Christopher Fowler, the previous column writer of Black Static, she did a wonderful and convincing job even from the start. It is only fitting then to put her debut collection, “The Moon Will Look Strange”, on my wish list. On my wish list, because although Lynda E. Rucker’s collection is available since September, I am hoping to get a copy of the volume with a dedication (I so love personalized copies) at the World Fantasy Convention next week when a Halloween book launch will be held. “The Moon Will Look Strange” is released by Karōshi Books and gathers eleven stories signed Lynda E. Rucker, eight previously published and three original to the collection.

The laughter of a dead child echoes down the winding streets of a town in Spain…
A mysterious stranger makes increasingly disquieting visits to a lonely English instructor in Central Europe…
A woman experiences her own literal disintegration as someone – or something – from her past takes over her life…but who is the possessed and who is possessing?
In return for the ability to touch the miraculous, the residents of an isolated mountain community are busily manufacturing items they don’t understand in preparation for a future they cannot imagine…
With eight reprints from the pages of such publications as Black Static, The Third Alternative, and Supernatural Tales and three original tales, this chilling debut collection by Lynda E. Rucker will fill you with unease and unsettle your dreams.
“Lynda Rucker's great talent is that she is able to carefully build a perceptive portrayal of the real world and in the process of that exploration find that edge where the everyday dissolves and the numinous begins. Her compelling execution of this transition strongly echoes the work of Robert Aickman.” – Steve Rasnic Tem

“Introduction” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“Author’s Note”
“The Burned House” (original to this collection)
“No More A-Roving” (Darkness Rising #1, 2001)
“The Chance Walker” (The Third Alternative #33, 2003)
“The Moon Will Look Strange” (Black Static #6, 2010)
“In Death’s Other Kingdom” (original to this collection)
“Ash-Mouth” (Black Static #2, 2007)
“These Foolish Things” (original to this collection)
“Beneath the Drops” (The Third Alternative #25, 2000)
“These Things We Have Always Known” (Black Static #8, 2008)
“Different Angels” (The Third Alternative #19, 1999)
“The Last Reel” (Supernatural Tales #10, 2006)

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