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Triangulation: Parch (Volume 7) Paperback – September 14, 2014
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"I remember the dust scrabbling at my eyes, and the folk that had gathered on the sidewalks to watch him plod past on a chugging, nearly-spent machine horse. As he came to me, the stitched segments of his face shifted into a new configuration, a hinted smile or frown, and his torso swung around."
Though that was perhaps my favorite piece, I wasn't left disappointed by the rest of the book. I enjoyed every story. "Koan" by Jacob Edwards has a visceral style with imaginative analogies and verve. "He felt the cracks in his lips -- rough; jagged -- as he kissed each word on its way." "Passages" by Jacque Barberi, translated by Michael Shreve presents the brilliant idea of an exhibition of holo-projections of books, as people use bubble-helmets to observe them. "Noah" by Madhvi Ramani contains an voice that guides with excellent pacing, the sounds and shapes of the sentences almost like meaningful music.
"Dust Storm" by Chuck Rothman took me right into the storm completely right away with the powerful scenes. "Vegan" by Diane Turnsheck is deliciously non-human, commenting on humanity through that: "She could rid her mouth of the taste of the easy food, but she could not divest her mind of the echoing mental sorrow projected by the creatures she ate." "Dream Warriors: Ramayan Redux" by Rochelle Potkar makes us care about the protagonist who sadly feels he isn't the type of man women like, in a world in which less likeable women also suffered.
"The Well" by Kenneth B. Chiaccia deftly employs choppy sentences and fragments to bring the action in this SF to intense life contrasted to the protagonist's earlier genteel habits before his banishment. "Floorboards" by Christopher Nadeau plays on our fears immediately causing the body to react to the -- things. "A Fine Selection of Wines and Poisons" by John O. Frochio changes the tone of the book entirely to play with the formality of a gentleman detective and a Lady as they deal valiantly with an anomaly in time and space.
The beautiful "The Strawmother" by Jamie Lackey provides an evocative echo of the patchwork man. "Her straw stuffing soaks and plumps and her burlap skin burns and knits." "Smitten" by Tinatsu Wallace takes us through very human, and common, problems many could identify with. "Parched in Purnalulu" by Jetse de Vries is a very welcome example of experimental storytelling structure organized by Emergences and Resonances. "Bitter Water" by Julia August flips into traditional fantasy, which may reassure readers unused to the level experimentation of the previous story. My story comes next -- listed under the name of Rosemary, but that's me. I greatly enjoyed the interactions regarding this publication.
"The Hope of a Thirsty Planet" by Kaitlin McCloughan shoots us into a believable future as the characters go to Mars, giving us a chance to contemplate reality. The action tale "Before Bastrop" by Michael Collins focuses on mortality in a dying landscape, and "Shuttle Season" by Jen White also is set in a desolate location. Its prose is engagingly poetic: "The air was so dry furniture hollowed into brittle skeletons." "A Long Forgotten Memory" by Elizabeth Spencer tells the Memory of the city's encounter of a giant ship sailing through the sky! "The Way We Were" by Fruma Klass undercuts the predictability of were-tales.
In general, I like each story's casual intro, the personal tone and honesty. I've never seen editors discuss their reactions to seeing the stories show up in their slush pile, the editing process, though sometimes I was disconcerted by seeing things included such as that an author's previous stories didn't come together for them and that some required revisions; I wasn't sure how that would make an author feel.
I'd highly recommend reading this book, with a nice drink of water, which you will appreciate greatly.