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C is for Chimera (Alphabet Anthologies) (Volume 3) Paperback – April 9, 2016
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About the Author
Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things.She founded and ran Niteblade Magazine, is an Assistant Editor at World WeaverPress and is the editor of several anthologies including, most recently, Sirens and C is for Chimera.
In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been inpublications such as Tesseracts 17:Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best CanadianSpeculative Writing (2012 & 2015) and Mythic Delirium.
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Top customer reviews
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I'm a huge fan of Parrish's anthologies, from <I>Fae</i> to <I>Corvidae</i> and <I>Scarecrow</i>, so I jumped at a chance to review her latest. And while this definitely has a different feel than her Magical Menagerie series, her skilled editorial touch is still obvious.
Alexandra Seidel's gruesome "A" follows Etia and her twin sister, the narrator, into the world of alchemy and chimaerae. The story is an eloquent descent into madness, and the world-building is subtle and deft. "A" plunges the reader into the anthology full speed ahead.
"B" by KV Taylor is set in the United States of the 19th century. Jackson, a police officer, is asked to investigate the disappearance of the town doctor--a real doctor, but one with unusual habits. What Jackson finds is related in a wonderful voice that is folksy and friendly and ultimately renders the end of the story even more chilling.
"C" by Marge Simon is a short and vivid nightmare, as Robert dreams and dreams and dreams again--always of a beautiful woman asking him questions he can't answer. It leaves the reader feeling breathless and trapped within its tight writing.
Pete Aldin's "D" is the perfect follow-up to "C". Alec wakes to find a very odd intruder in his bedroom. Or is he still dreaming? The conversation that follows is certainly bizarre enough for a dream, but the depth of emotion and layers of nuance in it are impressive.
"E" by Michael M. Jones is the story of a nameless girl spirit who flits through school hallways, torn between observing the world of the living and wondering about her mysterious past. But a group of bullies gets the girl spirit's attention, and she is forced to decide whether to become more than she is.
"F" by Simon Kewin begins, "Eventually he grew weary of the long winter he'd escaped to." So opens a cold, dark, windswept story of loneliness and yearning, of a being too long removed from the human race.
BD Wilson's story "G" is a chimera itself, cobbled together from the past and the present, just as main character Bairn is cobbled together from a theatrical world of ring-fighting and the life-or-death stakes of the Dogfights.
"H" by Gabrielle Harbowy is a short and chilling piece set in a laboratory. Harbowy makes every word count.
"I" by Sara Cleto is a delightful and beautifully written retelling of Cinderella...but this is not the Cinderella you're used to reading. This is honestly my favorite piece of the anthology.
Megan Englehardt's "J" is a fun, funny origin story, told in the tradition of Native American legends.
"K" by Michael Fosburg takes us on a nightmare journey through a blight-stricken world of steampunk and demons. The grief-stricken (and guilt-stricken) main character is complex and and compelling.
"L" by Megan Arkenberg is atmospheric, the remote setting almost as important a character as the unnamed protagonist and those she interacts with. Arkenburg juxtaposes beauty and horror to create a gorgeous little story of hope.
"M" by Lilah Wild asks the reader to examine your own self-image as the main character undergoes a metamorphosis inside a frenetic department store. It's a compelling piece.
"N" by Laura VanArendonk Baugh takes us back to the powerful kingdom of Atlantis, where a prophecy is badly received by the proud king. His son goes on a quest for truth alongside a temple bull dancer, and is forced to make some very difficult decisions. A neatly-executed coming-of-age story in a richly imagined setting.
"O" by Milo James Fowler is a tragic story written almost like a Biblical parable and set in what feels like the Old West. Gruesome and sad, it's a gorgeous story about love and fear.
I LOVE the format of "P" by Brittany Warman. Written up like a police case file, it details a macabre series of incidents that are somehow connected to a strange art exhibit in Manhattan. Warman forces the reader to ask herself about human nature and how others perceive us.
"Q" by Michael B. Tager takes the reader on an introspective journey as a student and master leave their monastary on a pilgrimage. Student and master discuss their beliefs as the student comes to understand the true source of their power.
L.S. Johnson's story for "R" probably ought to come with a trigger warning. It's the visceral deconstruction of a woman's life after one horrific incident--and it's the story of a transformation, of creating someone rare and wonderful out of violence. Gracefully told, the story is one that sticks with you.
"S" by Beth Cato takes us to a post-apocalytpic world where a tenacious doctor is working against the sickness that has ravaged her world. Her companion, Tiger Boy, shows us the world through the eyes of one of the survivors. Cato skillfully combines sorrow and hope in her short piece.
"T" by C.S. MacCath is a symphony of words, a glorious creation story that draws on physics and light and life.
"U" by Samantha Kymmell-Harvey is another marvelously crafted post-apocalyptic story, focusing on genetic experimentation and the unintended side effects. Beautifully written, this futuristic story resounds with the echoes of a time when women could be locked in institutions for being 'hysterical', and yet the story also carries the reader forward into a new world.
"V" by Steve Bornstein takes the classic fantasy beast-slaying trope and turns it on its head, as young Melick tracks people who raided his village and has an encounter with a chimera that changes his outlook. It's a fun fantasy adventure that makes a nice, light-hearted addition to this collection.
Suzanne van Rooyen's "W" is full of gorgeous sentences like this opening: "All the words I cannot say stain my skin in inky ribbons." As the story progresses, we experience the power of words, not only through the writing, but through the characters.
"X" by Michael Kellar is a strange and engaging tale of a woman who has an accident, and her not-quite-usual recovery afterwards, told in an almost dreamlike prose.
"Y" by Jonathan C. Parrish is a character piece about a man who has an unusual way of viewing the world, a fixation with light and color and sensation.
"Z" by Amanda C. Davis is a surreal science fiction story that touches on the human and the animal in all of us in a very unique way. It's a quiet way to end the anthology.
All in all, this anthology is another good showcase for Parrish's literary curatorship. I'm already familiar with some of the authors in this anthology, and now I'll be looking for work from the others.
<i>C is for Chimera</i> is the third book in the Alphabet Anthologies series (following <i>A is for Apocalypse</i> and <i>B is for Broken</i>), edited by Rhonda Parrish.
Starting with A and working all the way through Z, authors share a variety of stories all based around the theme of chimeras.
With twenty-seven stories, there’s worry that the book could be overly long, but each of the stories is short, no more than a couple of pages. There are a few that are a bit longer, but I don’t think any go over five or seven pages (I read the book on a Kindle so page counts may vary). The best part is it allows a reader to meet new authors that they may not otherwise encounter. (Or in my case come across the surprise of an old friend I was not expecting.)
The stories are mostly science fiction in genre, although they range from fantastical to historical to steampunk. It was an easy read and for the most part I was happy to move to one story to the next although a couple of times, I got to the end and went “Wait. What?” wondering what happened in the story. It was almost as if the author had a word count and couldn’t quite get the entirety of the idea into the required space.
What it all comes down to those is <i>C is for Chimera</i> is an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what happens with D and the rest of the Alphabet.
One of my favorite stories is 'I is for Ignite.' It has a Cinderella-esque theme running through it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves short stories, especially fiction-fantasy based. I have always liked stories/myths/legends of the chimaera, so I found it very entertaining and unique.
I'm a fan of Rhonda Parrish's anthologies, and, as always, this one is great. The format is like the previous two (A is for Apocalypse, B is for Broken), where each author writes a story around a word beginning with their given letter. What I really love is that the word isn't given until the very end. Sometimes the word is obvious. Sometimes not so much.
A couple of the stories left me scratching my head in confusion, but since there are twenty-six in total, that's a pretty good ratio.
My favorites were M by Lilah Wild and R by L.S. Johnson. M was evocative, plunging me into the hustle and bustle of an overly busy store at Christmas as the main character has a brush with the supernatural. R was fascinating because I had four guesses as to what the word might be, and none of them were correct. Both were heart-breaking in their own ways, truly capturing the essence of the anthology.
If you can get your hands on it, I would recommend this anthology.
Most recent customer reviews
A great read. Rhonda Parrish is an amazing editor who expertly crafted an anthology with stories...Read more
The main character in Michael M.Read more