Savages: A Triptych

Review by Joey Madia

To begin, a definition: “Triptychs” are typically three-paneled paintings or a photograph series that explores a unified theme in different ways.

The triptych of this collection is three short stories: “Long Live the King,” “The Deposition,” and “Lunar Seas.” Thematically, there could be several broad-based connections between the three stories, as they each cover a range of human emotions and relationships. Other reviewers have put forth their own theories. To me, the triptych here is unified as Past, Present, and Future explorations of what is most “savage” (read primitive, archetypal, low-vibrational) in Humankind’s relationships to its dark secrets as they are expressed in both our codified, societal Myths and the ones we individually construct. Continue reading

I’m Sorry for the Quiet… Good Luck Sleeps in a Fridge

Regarding the Gifts of F.J. Nanic – another bridge to sanity

Review by Grady Harp

F.J. Nanic, as the very talented in many areas my friend Faćo has decided to use as his pen name, was born in Sarajevo, lived and worked in France, America, New Zealand, and Australia. Following his teenage desire to busk his way around Europe, he winds up in Munich, Stuttgart, Aarhus, Amsterdam, Liege, Zurich, Lausanne… When the war in his country broke out, he was studying in Paris. In Laval, he worked with the ex-prisoners of the concentration camps in Omarska and Manjaca liberated by the Red Cross. After their integration, he joined his family in America. He continued on to Australia, as far as the east is from the west…’ How could we not be interested in what F.J. Nanic has to say when he has had exposure to so many stations on the globe and the wild madness that peripatetic writers encounter.’ Continue reading

A Certain Kind of Freedom

Superb Short Stories and Memorable Essays and Poems Compiled and Edited by Beryl Belsky

Review by Malcolm R. Campbell

My objective when choosing the pieces for the anthology was to ensure that they reflected not only literary merit but also the multicultural nature of the website [Writer’s Drawer], as well as universal themes with which we can all identify. — Beryl Belsky, from the Preface

A Certain Kind of Freedom presents ten stories in Short Fiction, ten first-person essays in Stories from Life, eleven poems in Poetry, and three poems in East Asian Style Poetry. While the short stories comprise the most dynamic section of the book, the anthology as a whole successfully fulfills Belsky’s objectives in the preface. Continue reading

Not Sure Boys

Just about some homo sapiens…

Review by Grady Harp

The handsome new Boston writer Rick Bettencourt jumps onto the platform of young brilliant writers with this short but exceptional book NOT SURE BOYS. If there are more stories such as these in his head or imagination then we are going to be noticing the rise of a writer in the ranks of Jamie O’Neill, K.M. Soehnlein, André Aciman, David Leavitt, Michael Cunningham, Edmund White, Alan Hollingsworth, Paul Russell, Jim Grimsley, Andrew Holleran to list some – those writers of great intelligence and masters of the English language who have taken up where EM Forster and Christopher Isherwood left off, creating stories about the world of gay men. Continue reading

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fiction

Neo-Victorian Anthology Filled with Delights and Wonders

Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Review by Malcolm R. Campbell

Readers who aren’t familiar with the term “gaslamp” learn in the editors’ preface that the term applies to “stories set in a magical version of the nineteenth-century” in parts of the world where “British culture has been, or remains, a dominant force.” Continue reading