The Creased Spine – April

Welcome to April’s best that I’ve read. It feels like I haven’t read much last month, but that’s not exactly true. Less stories, same number of words. And a few stood out, so let’s get to them.

Short fiction

Sister by Seán Padraic Birnie (from the collection, I Would Haunt You If I Could, pub. Undertow Publications, 2021). Such a haunting and horrific portrayal of grief.

First line: “After my sister died, in the appalling silence which filled our home, I made an effigy from the store of materials in her studio.”

Long fiction

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward, (pub. Viper, 2021). This is a study in horror at its best. Ward’s skill in the first chapter continues to enthral us throughout this tragic story. A beautiful and engaging read, it’s also a crucial book providing a voice for the unheard. Go read it. 

First line: “Today is the anniversary of Little Girl With Popsicle.”

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe, (pub. Hodder Children’s Books, 2021). From the beginning, Sharpe grabs you and runs. Nora, the protagonist, is ballsy, funny, and leaves you breathless in this story about survival and friendship. Ignore the YA tag, it’s an exhilarating read for both teenagers and adults.

First line: “It was supposed to be twenty minutes.”

Other mediums

Sublime Horror (podcast). I’ve been exploring podcasts recently and Sublime Horror is one of the best I’ve come across so far. It ‘celebrates the best in horror’, offering thoughtful discussion and analysis. While the website is certainly alive and delivering much-needed coverage of the horror genre, the six SH podcast episodes available date back to 2018/19.  

Podcast: https://www.sublimehorror.com/podcast/

(Image credit: unknown)

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