Thursday, August 18, 2022

From the Depths of Hellas

From the Depths of Hellas by [Bruce Taylor]

From the Depths of Hellas is a new collection of vignettes and short fiction written and curated by Bruce Taylor. Released 10th April 2022 from ReAnimus Press, it's 216 pages (e-format) and is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

To call these short stories is inaccurate; most are fragments, short narrative word studies without a discernible specific beginning-middle-end format. There are some more story-ish entries, but they're not the majority of the content. What they do have in common is more than competent writing. "Wordsmith" is bandied around casually, but in this case it's apropos. The author is a very capable writer. 

Most of these have elements of speculative fiction/fantasy and nearly all have strong elements of magical realism, scenes from our world, but with magic and aspects which defy "our" consensual reality. 

This would not only be a good choice for fans of SF/fantasy, but would also be appropriate as a support text for writing instruction - the nuts and bolts of the craft are especially well delineated here. The author states in the preface that he's written over 1000 stories, the ones I've read seem to be constructed to an above average standard. I dislike literary comparisons, but these stories go to almost the same place in my reader's brain as Ray Bradbury and very few others. I can't think of another author who is producing this type of writing.

Four and a half stars. Light on actual start-to-finish plot narrative, but very very well written.

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