- File Size: 5520 KB
- Print Length: 199 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: December 2, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07XSCVQLV
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#2,823,634 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #9683 in Fantasy Anthologies
- #6868 in Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories (Kindle Store)
- #40608 in Single Authors Short Stories
Flying on the Ground: An Assortment of Short Fiction Kindle Edition
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This anthology features an assorted collection of Richie Billing’s short stories.
The stories are mostly unconnected (with the exception of ‘The General’ and ‘Forgotten’ which are set in the same world) but there are some commonalities between them.
All of the fantasy stories feature everyday people or underdogs, and their small daily struggles, rather than epic battles, princes and dragons, knights and mages. Similarly, the general fiction is a mixture of homelessness, addiction and the real-life foundering of an ocean liner in the Liverpool docks. The problems are real and engrossing, but on a small scale – ideal for the format.
There are a couple of horror stories too: a creature feature about a man, a dog and a dark, dark hole; and a serial killer who targets society’s monsters for horrific torture… a very unheroic hero!
Each story here is different, but they are all well-written and filled with a wealth of detail that draw you in and make you feel that you are riding along on real events, rather than reading a story.
I would love to see some of the fantasy stories widened out into bigger fantasy worlds, as they had the tantalising feel of catching an interesting bit of conversation and being aware that there is so much more just out of reach.
The collection really gives a good feel for the scope and range of Billings’ writing, and makes an excellent advert for his future work.
The thud of a hammer woke me. It was at the edge of my hearing, travelling up from downstairs. I checked the windows. The ledge was too broad to see the alley below. Hide or investigate? Curiosity won.
I went barefoot, boots too clunky. The hammering grew in volume as I neared the shop floor, and when it faded, another more distant strike filled the silence. Had the workmen returned? Panic consumed me. I didn’t want to give up this place. Here I had some level of comfort, a comfort I’d sought for a long time. They would take it away. Maybe do worse. I’d heard stories of people paid to make squatters disappear. Few people ever asked questions about the forgotten.
– Richie Billing, from ‘The White of the Canvas’ in Flying on the Ground
Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
Billing's shorts cover a wide range of genres including fantasy, historical fiction, horror, and crime. With this amount of genre-topia, one would think it difficult to find a commonality in the pieces, but there is an unexpected cohesiveness. Billing knows human nature, he understands our light and dark sides, relationships, love, loss, hatred and jealousy, comradeship, living in the moment, and when we reach for the stars or hide in the shadows. No matter the genre, it does all come down to the characters, and this author writes with heart, soul, and a splash of devil-may-care darkness that will rivet readers.
I am drawn to many genres - fantasy and historical fiction (or a combination of the two) rate high, and while I have favorites (The Monster of Grug) each short story is compelling. There is an otherworldly, almost ominous feel from the collection that feeds the reader just the right amount of mystery. The low-down skinny of this review - Billing is an imagination stoker, a writer cloaked in humanity's secrets, with a coveted writing style that grips a readers own inner demons. He is an author to watch
Whiskey & Wit Book Reviews