Stunning Debut Collection
I absolutely loved this collection of 17 stories and novelettes in Susan York’s debut collection from Trevor Denyer’s Midnight Street Press. Most writers start with a ‘what if’ premise and then insert whatever cardboard characters they need to push the premise to its conclusion, but with York’s stories, each ‘what if’ premise is populated by complex characters whose hopes and fears feel real, and relatable. York is one of those rare writers who seems to draw her stories not from a gimmicky plot premise, but from her own life experiences, and that adds so much depth of emotion to each tale. From the first story on, ‘A Cup of Tea’, about a female TV reporter who might feel some jealousy because her male counterpart, dying on camera, for that reason has become more famous than her, we’re treated to stories that certainly contain a great deal of horror, but also hone in on the complex human reactions to horror in one’s life. There’s a great breadth to York’s stories in this collection, but there’s also a great depth to how she explores the characters’ emotions in each story. Absolutely recommended.
Ralph Robert Moore
A Thrilling Debut Collection
I managed to snag a copy of Susan York's debut collection Starless and Bible Black at her launch at Fantasycon earlier this year. Starless and Bible Black has a good mix of stories, ranging from the mystical "A Gambling Man" and the beautiful "Starless and Bible Black"; all the way through a gamut of emotions and styles to the terrifying "Rhapsody" (which kept me awake after reading it late one night) and was my favourite story of the collection, followed closely by "To Have and To Hold" and "Taking Flight". If you haven't yet read anything by Susan York this collection is a wonderful place to start, with a range of stories for everyone, no matter what genre you prefer.