Dejan Ognjanović, in Rue Morgue, Issue #188, provides a tidy synopsis of several stories in C.M. Muller’s doppelgänger-based anthology, Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles (Chthonic Matter, 2019). My contribution, “Details That Would Otherwise Be Lost to Shadow,” receives a generous mention, along with several astute scribblers including Gordon B. White, Tim Jeffreys, Shannon Lawrence, Jason Wyckoff, and Jack Lothian.
This story (running a touch over 8,000 words) was a challenge to compose, in great part due to its structure, but more so in my attempt to bring some nuance to the tropes of duality. The key was employing the presence of what I’ve termed as the Motley House, a sort aesthetic tessellation, the construction of which, perhaps, warps the perspective of my central character, Tara Keltz. On the other hand, the house’s personality may be the only thing providing clarity, even if it elicits a realization which is not only difficult to perceive, but also to accept.
With the recent release of C.M. Muller‘s Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles the estimable Des Lewis is conducting another venerable “real time” review dedicated to the anthology. Here’s a portion of what he has to say about my contribution, “Details That Would Otherwise Be Lost to Shadow”:
[B]oundaries here in a residential area explicitly akin to sovereignty of identity and today’s nationalism. Whatever I go on to say, this remains a totally compelling first-person narration by a woman, self-seeking as well as self-conscious, ruthless in her ambition and optimisation of her nuclear family, husband and daughter. […] Finds herself in the house opposite where she had not yet met whomsoever lived there – a house described by her in a wondrously hypnotic mannered way, a sort of House of Leaves blended with something completely unique, with fleeting shadows and angles […] She foolhardily leaves her signature as it were, some written boundary of statically unique self-identity, on ‘stationary’ as stationery inside this house, a house aptly named Motley House […] another Clint Smith work to cherish. If I tell you more, I would spoil it.
Snag a copy (Kindle, paperback) here:
A number of reviewers have taken notice of several stories from Weirdbook #40, and I’m pleased to remark that my contribution to that volume, “This Godless Apprenticeship,” made it’s way onto Tangent Online 2018 Recommended Reading List; and Dave Truesdale has penned an impressively insightful “foreward” of sorts to the actual list. “This wildly varied rainbow of experience and perspectives,” writes Truesdale, “makes for an interesting barometer for writers, readers, and even academicians to set against other well known or familiar lists that may have become, over time, accepted as standards of reliability for the best fiction of any given year.”
Also cited on Tangent’s list are six “colleagues” from the Weirdbook #40 issue: John Linwood Grant (“Sanctuary”); Paul St. John Mackintosh (“The Prague Relic”); Matt Neil Hill (“The Giving of Gifts”); Mike Chinn (“And the Living is Easy”); Jack Lothian (“The Santa Anna”); and Darrell Schweitzer (“True Blue”).