Friday, December 4, 2015

Halibut, Herring and You

Halibut, Herring and You: Short Stories by Carla Billinghurst
CreateSpace Publishing: 7/10/15
eBook review copy; 149 pages
ISBN-13: 9781511797634

Halibut, Herring and You: Short Stories by Carla Billinghurst is a very highly recommended (and very short) collection of short stories.

I enjoyed this collection of short stories, several of which are interconnected, immensley. Billinghurst's writing is entertaining, humorous, thought provoking and sometimes irreverent. There is a taste of fables, fantasy and science fiction in the selections.  My favorite stories were probably the titular story, all The Usual Precautions variations, Fire, both Counting stories, and Shopping. But, who am I kidding; I liked the whole collection and count this as a plus because I've found another new author I enjoy.

Contents include:
Halibut, Herring and You: a hilarious fairy tale about living an impossible life set in our modern politically correct world.
The Usual Precautions I – The Australian Zombie Apocalypse: the first of a series of "micro-fiction about the zombie apocalypse, originally published on The first story (a guest post for Perilous Adventures) was inspired by discussions around the dinner table about what an Australian Zombie Apocalypse would look like and the rest followed on irresistibly." Mostly, these stories are about our unease with nature. "What the flies don’t eat, the Kookaburras and Butcher Birds and Kurrawongs deal with. Meat-eaters carroll and cackle and fluff their feathers; Insect-eaters chirrup and swoop."
Rachel: a warning to adults that kids do know what's good for them.
Fire: A fire is burning and who knows what it will uncover.
The Usual Precautions II – Le Zombie Apocalypse Francaise
Counting:  The story is told in a simple structure of counting. "Counting and Counting Back grew out of the structure of the rocket launch countdown."
Seven Hundred: This was the result of "yet another re-reading of Robert Graves’ White Goddess."
Counting Back: This is a companion piece to Counting. Put together these are heartbreaking and poignant.
The Usual Precautions III – Cinderella’s Zombie Apocalypse
Shopping: It's time for a shopping trip in the future - after aliens have taken over retail. (This is an extract from The Rock 
The Usual Precautions IV – A Transylvanian Zombie Apocalypse
Lilies: this began as a murder mystery and turned into something else.
The Usual Precautions V – Hero of the Apocalypse
Nanny: Set in a future where an advanced alien civilization must replace their nanny. What do we humans have that could possibly fill that role?
The Emergency Cat: Both this and the next story are told like fairy tales and are spinoffs from writing a story based on Sleeping Beauty
The Youngest Serf
The Usual Precautions VI – They Came From Earth
The End of the Line: This was originally a competition entry. "The competition was simply to write a story including a glass of water and 7.45."

"I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review."

(Regular followers can rest assured that all of my many reviews over the years have always been my honest opinion, however this direct quote is required for this eBook review copy.)

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