eBook, 284 pages
Prism presents the best of Roland Allnach's newest stories together with his most acclaimed published short fiction. These selected stories fracture the reader's perceptions among a dazzling array of genres and styles to illuminate the mysterious aspects of the human experience.
Roland Allnach has been described as a "star on the rise" (ForeWord Clarion), "a master storyteller with a powerful pen" (Cynthia Brian, NY Times Bestselling author), with writing that is "smart, elegant, and addicting" (San Francisco Review).
Prism by Roland Allnach is a highly recommended collection of 17 short stories that display the author's incredible talent and ability to write in a wide variety of styles. Most of the stories were previously published and several were highly acclaimed. Allnach displays the wide range of his ability and talent in this very diverse collection. Anyone who enjoys short stories should find several that appeal to them.
The contents include:
“After the Empire”: a soldier visits the ruins of his home town; previously published in the Summer 2008 issue of The Armchair Aesthete.
“11”: A man lives in fear of his stalker; previously published in the Fall 2008 (Vol. 7/34) issue of Allegory.
“Icon”: A critic scouts the artistic fringe and writes obsessively about a self-destructive singer; previously published in the January 2009 issue of Midnight Times.
“Creep”: A young boy is afraid of the dark; previously published in the Spring 2009 issue of The Storyteller; a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee.
“Return”: A man is recovering from injuries after a car accident: previously published in the Fall 2009 issue of Lullwater Review.
“Flowers for Colleen”: Two amoral predators find each other; previously published in the April 2010 issue of Absent Willow Review.
“Memento”: A Body reclamation driver reflects on his actions; previously a web publication, 2010 issue of Reed Magazine.
“The Great Hunter”: A boy's imagination runs wild; previously in the September 2010 issue of Foliate Oak.
“Apogee”: An astrophysics grad student visits his professor with a great discovery: previously published in the Fall 2010 issue of Rose & Thorn Journal.
“The City of Never”: A futuristic constructor builds environments/cities in a day; previously in the October 2011 issue of Aphelion and recipient of the Aphelion Editors’ ‘Best of 2011’.
“Conquest’s End”: A war of wars culminates in a Lord laying siege to the Ladies bastion: previously in issues 477-481 of Bewildering Stories and recipient, ‘Editor’s Choice’, and ‘Mariner Award’, Bewildering Stories, 2012.
“Turn the Wheel”: A man recalls an event earlier in his life that put him to the test: previously in the ‘Garden Nettles’ issue of Midwest Literary Magazine, 2012.
“Beheld”: "In the Beginning, the Deity pondered." ; previously published in the Summer 2012, Raphael’s Village.
"Titalis": A long tale of the city of Eurimedon and the quest/challenge for the hand of She of the Plains, told in 5 Acts.
"Of Typhon and Aerina": a long epic poem
"Tumbleweed: or An Ode to a Well Endowed Gunslinger”: A humorous poem in rhyming couplets about the wild west.
"Dissociated": "She says what she said before in that story, which is really this story."
With such diversity, the only real drawback to the collection is that every story/poem might not appeal to the reader as much as a collection with a similar theme or with stories written in the same genre. I basically liked most of the selections but had a few I enjoyed a bit less. Many of the stories are dark or tragic. There is some real and implied horror. I would imagine that those who enjoy short story collections will likely notice Allnach's talent and ability while appreciating this divergent collection.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of All Things That Matter Press for review purposes.