Three short fiction microreviews

At the end of last month I shared my last three reads on social media, but I wanted to write a bit more about them. So here are some micro reviews:

‘The House on the Moon’ by Georgina Bruce

In many ways, this book is quintessential Bruce. As befits the style of each story, the prose is either clear and direct, or more fluid and opaque. But whatever the style, the writing is always of a high quality. The collection includes a darkly humorous story featuring a middle-aged woman; two chilling stories featuring child protagonists that I found deeply unsettling; a story of a larger-than-life pop star who is experiencing terrible nightmares alongside a tale of a long-suffering girlfriend whose partner is permanently glued to the computer. There is a poignant, bittersweet story of an elderly couple. Lastly, there are astronauts going to the moon, to visit the freshly sprung house – the real enigma.

I loved the originality of this themed collection, the way the stories complemented each other; offered yet more facets to the strange phenomenon of a house appearing on the moon. As I said earlier, this is very Georgina Bruce – intelligent, suspenseful, and deceptively dark. A fantastic collection.


‘They Shut Me Up’ by Tracy Fahey…

…is in many ways classic Fahey too because of its deep-rooted feminism. The story is of a middle-aged woman protagonist coming into her powerful self. But there’s also body horror and crows and Irish history and mythology all entwined. I raced through this novella, compelled to know how it would end. Another highly recommended read.


Echec! by Tim Major

Major packs a lot into this short story in the form of a play in which the famous chess-playing automaton, the Mechanical Turk, is pitted against his operator, Schlumberger, in a dangerous psychological game. A thought-provoking and imaginative short story, the ending is very Tim Major.

All three books are gorgeously produced by independent presses in the UK and I feel very lucky that we have these kinds of publishers willing to take risks on such imaginative, cross-genre writing.

Do seek them out!

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