Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Beautifully Strange Tales

Earlier this year I was asked by Five Rivers Publishing if I would be interested in writing a forward for Susan Forest's new story collection Immunity to Strange Tales.

I was at once honoured and delighted. I had read Forest's writing before and quite admired her style; the chance to read an entire collection of her work and get to introduce it was rather rewarding.

The book, which is a collection of 12 short stories, came out this month and is now available in print and eBook format.

Here is an excerpt from my introduction to the book:

"This collection is entitled Immunity to Strange Tales, however, once you start to read the stories you'll likely realize that there is no immunity to the beautifully strange tales contained here. As a reader you'll be swept away by Susan Forest's poetic prose, fall prey to the charms of the worlds and characters she paints, be held under the spell her tales cast on your imagination and very soul.

If you were to read a standard biographical statement about Susan Forest, you'd likely find some sort of note that she writes science fiction, fantasy and horror. The fact is, she doesn't just write in these genres, she transcends them, weaves elements through them that blend cold hard reality with the fantastic. She takes the reader on unexpected speculative journeys, forces them at times to pause and reflect on a grave matter or surprises them with a bizarre and unexpected humorous turn of events."

I then go on to describe a few of the tales, highlighting a couple of common themes in her fiction -- the very Canadian themes of the struggle of the individual in society and a sense of isolation.

This is an excellent book of speculative stories by a talented writer that is definitely worth checking out.

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