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Strange Matters: Collected Tales of Fantasy, Myth and Magic Paperback – October 1, 2015
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About the Author
What is there to say? I'm Bret Allen and I'm a writer! I have a blog site at www.bretallen.info where I keep my creative writing, copy writing and musings. I'm a journalism graduate and enjoy writing articles and copy as a freelancer, especially when humour can be used, but my forte is creative writing. My favourite genres are fantasy, scifi and supernatural. There's something fascinating about the comparisons drawn between real life and the fantastic; in a contrary fashion, they can be more profound than those drawn by real-life stories. Most of all, I try to put a new spin on those genres, which in many cases have become stiff, old shambling corpses. Stitch on a smart new head, put a little truth in the heart, run a 500 megawatt current of strangeness through them and suddenly... they live again! I've lived most of my life in Shropshire and Staffordshire. I have a few great friends, a myriad of mates, a large and wonderful family, a fur baby and a long suffering partner. I draw most of my inspiration from Neil Gaiman, Tolkien, Tad Williams, Kim Newman, Terry Pratchett, daydreams, nightmares and the magic of the everyday.
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Top customer reviews
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It is a very interesting series of short stories that cover a wide range of genres, including Fantasy, Myth and Magic.
The very first story, Wordsmith, was compelling and gripping, and had me racing to finish it. A unique interpretation of the Golem, I was fascinated not just by the story, but by the depth of the detail in arcane matters, which had a ring of genuine mysticism to them. To say it was well researched would hardly do it justice.
Animism is a theme running through several stories herein. Rattus, for example, is a tale that astonishes, not because of its subject matter and not because it feels more developed, or genuine than, say, The Rats of Nimh, but because it made me care about a rat. And care deeply. Allen has managed to create a world, succinctly and sparingly, yet full of depth, courage and feeling, where oppressed beings struggle to survive against increasingly overwhelming odds. Rattus is a story that takes on a grandeur like that of Imperial Rome. A complex world of cunning, death, treachery, war and honour.
British Gods sounded interesting, and I was not disappointed. If asked to compare this story to the work of any other writer, I feel that Gaimen would be the only choice. But Allen is no copy cat, or clone. There is a distinct voice that is all his own. In British Gods, we see London in the throes of a riot, while ancient gods watch from the sidelines, occasionally interfering, doing what they always did, intervening in the affairs of man.
As I progressed through the book I was consistently impressed with the sophisticated level of the writing. While not always flawless in execution, it was original, inventive and compelling. There are no duds here, as all the stories are clever, creative and will draw you in, and keep you wanting more.
I am impressed. Well done Bret Allen. I look forward to more.