Welcome to the second instalment of the Creased Spine Bookshelf. A regular post listing what I’ve read that’s had a positive impact on me. This month features plenty of dark fiction and horror.
At This Table by Keith Rosson (from the collection, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, pub. Meerkat Press, 2021). A wonderful love story with a phantom twist, in which Rosson extracts emotions then slops them onto a stone slab to air dry.
First line: “The table is in a restaurant in a building that was built in 1885.”
Walking Dog by David J. Rank (from the anthology, Call of the Wyld, pub. Wyldblood Press, 2021). The beauty of this short, blunt tale is in the matter-of-factness of the young protagonist.
First line: “The kid saw the cop coming long before he reached her.”
This, and the next story are both in the same anthology. I’ll proudly admit it’s a book in which my story, Rewilding, is also featured.
Werewolf Eulogy by Adam Stemple (from the anthology, Call of the Wyld, pub. Wyldblood Press, 2021). With believable characters anything can happen. A beautiful story too.
First line: “Fall scoots out of Minnesota as fast as the migrating ducks.”
SWANSKIN by Alison Littlewood (from the anthology, After Sundown, ed. Mark Morris, pub. Flame Tree Press, 2020). An eloquently told folktale that, like many, resonates loudly in today’s world.
First line: “Later, it is not so much an attack that I see, again and again, in my mind, but what came after it.”
Coven of Sisters (film, 2020, dir. Pablo Agüero, available on Netflix). A powerful movie that explores superstition and persecution in the Basque country.
Memorable line: “Nothing is more dangerous, you see, than a dancing woman.”
Marianne (TV series, 2019, dir. Samuel Bodin, available on Netflix). An exceptional, quirky, frightening, funny French series with an excellent score and soundtrack. It’s about an evil force obsessed with a successful French horror writer. Unfortunately, Netflix cut funding for the programme after the first season due to poor ratings in the country of origin, despite being well-received internationally. The season concludes satisfactorily enough to warrant viewing.