REVIEW: Unseaming by Mike Allen

Unseaming by Mike Allen October, 2014 Antimatter Press 222 pages; trade paper; $15.95 ISBN: 978-0-9889124-1-0   Unseaming is the first collection of short stories from author Mike Allen. With...

UnseamingUnseaming
by Mike Allen
October, 2014
Antimatter Press
222 pages; trade paper; $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-9889124-1-0

 

Unseaming is the first collection of short stories from author Mike Allen. With a prominent blurb from Thomas Ligotti and introduction by none other than Laird Barron, this book is positioned to hit the mark squarely within the Lovecraftian/True Detective “New Weird” fiction movement, but it may be more at home in the newly-forming nebula of dark magical realism.

What sets this effort apart from the pack is the marvelous ability of Allen to set up place and character without meandering off the story path—while maintaining a style of prose which remains rhythmical, yet never comes across as mandarin.

The themes explored are varied and fascinating. In “The Hiker’s Tale”, Allen takes us on a journey into the Appalachians, exploring the Melungeon background and folklore surrounding a shapeshifting hiker. The very next story, “Stone Flowers”, reads like an old fairytale. It is beautifully written, poetic, and deeply emotional. And such is the entire collection.

Allen plays with form and point-of-view with a mastery that enhances and enchants without being distracting or coming across as arch. The most impressive example of this is “The Quiltmaker” which is made up of sixteen “squares,” a pattern, “the piece trimmed free,” and “the scrap leftover.”
Highly recommended. I read and savored every word.

 

 

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Sunni K Brock writes speculative fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and edits digital video. She has been published in several anthologies and periodicals, and edited the Rondo award winning documentary, The Ackermonster Chronicles!. Her strong technical background includes working for Microsoft, Adobe, and Sonic Solutions with expertise in multimedia, intelligent learning algorithms, and exploration of virtual reality and lucid dreaming. She enjoys spending her days working alongside her husband, author/filmmaker Jason V Brock, tending to their pet reptiles, cooking extravagant vegetarian meals, and aggravating friends on Facebook.

One Comment
  • DESCENT INTO LIGHT: Mike Allen’s Home Page » Blog Archive » NAMELESS DIGEST reviews UNSEAMING, HUNGRY CONSTELLATIONS
    13 January 2015 at 7:17 am
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    […] Sunni K. Brock of Nameless Digest has reviewed two of my 2014 books, horror story collection Unseaming and poetry collection Hungry Constellations, and she has flattering things to say about both.   About Unseaming: […]

  • Leave a Reply to DESCENT INTO LIGHT: Mike Allen’s Home Page » Blog Archive » NAMELESS DIGEST reviews UNSEAMING, HUNGRY CONSTELLATIONS Cancel reply

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