This review is a part of the blog tour for Collision! Be sure to check out the other stops and click to enter a giveaway for a $25 giftcard now through March 8!
The twelve stories in J.S. Breukelaar’s Collision encapsulate a wide range of speculative fiction and are captivating, strange, and amorphous in ways that I didn’t expect, but ways that truly delighted me.
With blurbs from Kathe Koja and Stephen Graham Jones, this book was instantly intriguing to me. From a story about a pianist with no arms to a twenty-first century Frankenstein and his monster, there is such a range in these stories, you just don’t know what you’re going to get with each new page.
Breukelaar has an excellent ear for dialogue especially, and though she uses it sparingly, I found the interaction between characters vivid and realistic even despite the often heightened reality of the situations.
Beyond the weirdness, the stories wrestle with interesting and relevant themes, such as how “Glow” brings up obvious themes of immigration and racism in our current political state though it is a story about space aliens. The brilliant novella “Like Ripples on a Blank Shore” that closes the collection was a definite favorite of mine and is a zombie story of sorts, as characters deal with people who aren’t all there. What defines humanity? Where do we draw the line and who should have rights?
These moments are the moments why horror is so important to me. Horror gives us a safe place to examine real issues, real fears, and say what if? It also allows us to hold up a mirror to what is going on in the world and, sometimes in crazy and ridiculous ways, say, look what we are all doing wrong. I love horror as a medium for change.
There are also great comic book-type illustrations that accompany each story—this is a new trend I am seeing with short story collections that I really love.
My thanks to Meerkat Press for sending me a copy of this one to read and review as part of the blog tour for the book.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.