Thursday, January 03, 2008

Review: Tall Tales on the Iron Horse by Colin P. Davies

Tall Tales on the Iron Horse
pb trade 207 pp
Bewildering Press

I think I have figured out the genius behind releasing stories onto the web. Now don't get me wrong, I can see some of the more obvious reasons. Like getting material that is not otherwise available in front of the public's eyes. Which is what I guess was what I have discovered just how deep that rabbit hole goes. Every successful car dealer knows that you just don't show a car. “ain't this a pretty car? You like it! You want it!” sometimes that might work but it's the dealer that lets you drive it first that is most successful. The more stories I find in the creative commons and more to the point the more of them I find in a collection or printed, the more I find myself picking up these books. With Saunders Navigating, well I work with his material so often that it's a given that I would get that one, but I purchased The year's Best Science Fiction even though I had read several of the stories on the broadcast. And I would have to say that its followed on with Colin P. Davies Tall Tales on the Iron Horse. I had previously read the short of the same name which opens the book, as well as The Defenders. I then went on to find The Hay Devils and The Man Who Sank. All very strong stories of various lengths. Tall Tales alone is one of the most twisted train rides I have ever been on. So when I heard that advanced copies were available, I just had to have it. And that has to be the power of the Creative Commons, and the web. You get to test drive the book. Brilliant! So, lets talk about Tall Tales on the Iron Horse. The opening short and The Defenders is worth the cost of the book hands down. Davies is a bit hard to pigeon hole. Some of his stories are clearly fantasy and some are solid science fiction. Many straddle the divide. The Man Who Sank is a frightening ride through someone else's mania, while The Hay Devils is like a sideways telling of the children of the corn. The Evangelist leads you down a garden path, where your sure you know where your going, until the twist ending do you realize you have been manhandled all the way through the story. Its so easy to say that there is literally something for everyone within the covers, but nothing could be more true. Colin won't beat you up with heavy science but neither will he taunt you with ghosts and ghoulies, but he will walk you damn close and absolutely entertain you. Tall Tales on the Iron Horse is a fast entertaining read, well worth the cost. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Beam Me Up said...

Just got a note from Colin who informs me that Tall Tales will be available February 1 2008. Excellent news in my opinion!