triptychs

Short story anthologies are a wonderful way to sample the work of different authors, and find new favourite writers in the process. Triptychs is a great example of this. This anthology contains 20 short stories, 4 poems, and 8 original photographs, and the idea behind the anthology is just a bit different than your usual short story collection. Each photo in the book was given to three different writers. Each writer then wrote a short story or poem inspired by that photo, meaning that the reader gets to see how one image can spark three very different stories. It’s a fascinating way to fire up the imagination of the writers, and the results are both interesting and entertaining.

The short stories cover a range of genres: there are tales of horror and crime and vampires, as well as romance and fantasy. All the stories and poems are well-written, and each one has something special to grab your interest and capture your imagination. I found it very hard to put down this book once I started reading: I kept wanting to know what kind of story would be next.

There’s the eerie and gripping “We Came From The Ocean” by Jason McIntyre, about a mysterious stranger looking for a girl in a small town: except that you soon realize that that neither the girl, the stranger, or her father who is trying to protect her, is exactly what they appear to be. This story ties in with McIntyre’s other short story in the collection “All Things Being Equal”.

There are two great short stories by Lisette Brodey, and I especially loved “I Wish…”, which has a terrific twist that literally gave me chills at the end. Maria Savva’s “Glimmer Siluridae” was another one of my favourites, putting a terrific fantasy spin on a tale about a couple on a riverboat holiday. Savva’s story “Lost In You” – a story about guilt, love, water, and death – is another one that gave me the shivers.

“All Questions Answered” by Jay Finn, about what might happen if you run into one of those trickster characters “who live behind the creases and folds of time” is a fantastic story as well: and it has an ending that I will be committing to memory, just in case I need it…

Eden Baylee’s “Swans” is a beautiful and touching short story about a little girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders, while J. Michael Radcliffe’s two tales: “The Easygoing Widower” and “Getting Away From It All”, pull you in and then flip the story around on you in a great way.

Other standouts for me in this well-crafted collection is Marc Nash’s evocative “Cloud Animals”, Julie Elizabeth Powell’s very original fantasy/scifi-flavoured tale “Beyond The Eyes”, and Darcia Helle’s thoughtful “Pointless Story”, which is anything but that.

Add in some great poems – Ben Ditmars’ “Dry Dock” for example – the (quite literally) inspiring photographs by Martin David Porter and the multi-talented Helle Gade (who also wrote two of the poems in the book), and you have a very unique short story collection that is definitely a recommended short story-read.

Buy the book at Amazon: Triptychs (Mind’s Eye Series Book 3)

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