9 August 2014 2 Comments
Summary: There’s something about Liars’ League that brings out the wildness in the writers’ imaginations. Here we explore myth, fantasy, science fiction, and the indefinable what the – that makes up Weird. In true Liars’ League fashion there is as much humour as there is darkness and poignancy.
More than twenty tales, varying in style from stories not out of place in One Thousand and One Nights, to the completely bemusing.
Discover mirrors that predict the immediate future and museums where your personal future life is exhibited in the kind of ephemeral objects that might normally find their way into a dustbin.
Meet tadpoles, lazy assassins, and assiduous poisoners; observe deals with the devil, and workplace stress taken to its logical conclusion.
Heroes, villains, and animals – anything and anyone could provide the twist in the tale – cursed travellers, persistent dreamers, aliens, robots and even ice might be the object, or source, of love.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
Review: I love short stories, i love science fiction, fantasy and weird stuff. So when i saw this book in a goodreads giveaway, of course i entered it. I was more than pleased when i got the email telling me i’d won a copy. I was super happy when it came through my letter box about a week later, and started reading it as soon as i finished my previous book.
The first thing i loved about this book is that the stories are short enough that i could read one in its entirety on the bus to work. It was the perfect book to carry around with me to read at random opportunities. It has 24 stories over 160 pages, so lots to read in a small enough book that fitted easily into my bag.
With titles like, ‘Haiku Short, Parakeet Prawns, Konnichiwa Peter’ and ‘What Does H₂O Feel Like to the Tadpoles?’ i was more than eager to get reading and see what these stories held. I liked them all–there wasn’t one i didn’t enjoy.
‘Content Management’ reminded me of a short story i love by John Wyndham. It drew on some interesting stereotypes of men and women in relationships, and placed them in a futuristic setting where, well, where your content can be managed.
‘Fuzzby & Coo’ was a bit of a hoot. It was a reworking of Rapunzel with a much more awkward ending. It has also inspired me to re-write some classic fairy tales with a feminine twist!
I’m just flicking through the book now, and i can’t decide which stories to mention and praise, because there really was something great about each of them. Some of them were meaningful and poignant, some of them were comical and strange, and some of them were all of those things.
‘Candyfloss’ is exactly my kind of story. Light, but with hidden depth, not giving away all its details at once and the end not being a twist so much as an, “Ahh, i see what you did there.”
‘Free Cake’ might have been very funny, but it makes some excellent and valid observations on what it’s like to be over-worked at a monotonous job in a large building for a faceless corporation. Heads might roll, but occasionally there’s free cake.
I loved ‘Hollow Man’. What was going on was pretty obvious, but the ending was perfect, and the narration was sublime.
‘What Does H₂O Feel Like to the Tadpoles?’ was wonderful. Just picture a human sitting on the shore, having a conversation with tadpoles in the water about breathing. Or better yet, read this story about exactly that.
All of them. All of these stories made me smile, laugh, roll my eyes, ponder and help me escape on my dull journey to work. I will definitely be looking into more books from the Liars’ League.