Monday, 25 July 2016

Flashing Pens - by Susan Price

Another Flash in the Pen
I know it's not the done thing to favourably review a book in which you yourself have a story. It's understandably seen as biased. Well, I would say it's good, wouldn't I?
          So I wasn't planning to review Another Flash in the Pen here. I reckoned I would post the fact of its existence on Facebook and then keep schtum.
          And, to be brutally honest, I had muted expectations.
          I like short stories. I've read lots of anthologies and what I've come to expect is a few stand-out pieces studding a book full of perfectly good but underwhelming stories. Or, perhaps, stories that would be stand-out pieces for someone else but just don't do it for me.
          That's what I expected from Another Flash in the Pen and, had it been so, I would simply have kept quiet.

          What I actually found was a book full of stories that I tore through, enjoying each and everyone. I found I was looking forward to picking the book up again, because the last story had been so good... And putting it down, having finished another story, thinking, "That was good! What's the next one called?" - And finding that I didn't want the collection to end.

          I knew, of course, that my Electric colleagues are good writers but familiarity takes the edge off everything. I'd forgotten just how good they are.
          This book acted as a refresher course. There's laugh-out-loud funny. Elgaic and atmospheric. Haunting - though not always by ghosts.
          Vivid snap-shots of life. Tales of the sea. Stories of life on other planets in the future and stories with a sharp awareness of life as it is here and now.


          When I finished the book, I felt that I had very rarely read a collection of short stories where I enjoyed all of the stories so much.
          So I'm going to stick my head above the parapet and say that I think this is an unusually good anthology which would keep most readers happy - whether because they like short stories or because they want something short to read during commutes or on the beach. I stayed at home and read it over several days, whenever I had a few spare moments.
          It has me looking forward keenly to the AE collection of ghost stories because I love a good ghost story and this collection had raised my expectations.

          Thanks to all the great writers who donated stories, and an especial thanks to Karen Bush who - despite having a great many other things to do - found time to put it together, edit and format it. Though she was helped by whippets.

Another Flash In The Pen


Paperback           UK              US
Kindle                 UK              US

8 comments:

madwippitt said...

I love anthologies - such a good way of discovering new authors whose work you haven't yet stumbled across .... it was an anthology that first introduced me, many, many years ago, at the tender age of ten, to Ray Bradbury, a master of the short story and a favourite of mine ever since.
PS The first Authors Electric collection was pretty good too!

Sandra Horn said...

My sentiments exactly, Sue!

Susan Price said...

So right, madwippitt. It would be quite a task to list the writers I've 'discovered' because I enjoyed one of their short stories or an extract from one of their books in an anthology - John Steinbeck, for one. Bradbury, Sturgeon, Gibson...

And Sandra - I very much enjoyed your chilling Witch Child.

Bill Kirton said...

I had the same reaction to the collection, Susan and. like yours, my expectations of anthologies aren't high. All good stories, lots of variety and proud to be part of it all. Many thanks, again, to Karen and her two assistants for making it happen.

Umberto Tosi said...

I've had the same experience! I usually nibble anthology stories here and there, but I've devoured this delightful volume. Wow. I knew you were all good writers, but this surpassed expectations and made my short list of collected stories. I promoted it on my social media pages, feeling a little self-conscious about my rave. I dont want to sound self-serving, being that I am honored to have one of my stories included. You set a high mark. I look forward to the next edition and to our Dark Sparks! Many thanks to Karen and crew, and thanks for this post!

madwippitt said...

The two assistants thank you for your thanks and now stand waiting expectantly, mouths open ... ;-) They say that roast sucking pig, or failing that, roast turkey - or at a pinch, gravy bones - should do it ...

julia jones said...

Well said Susan - and thank you from me too, Karen

Elizabeth Kay said...

And another thank you from me, Karen. Your energy leaves me gasping for breath.