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Irregular Verbs and Other Stories

CHARACTERS Irregular Verbs and Other Stories

Keluarga to move to a new village Lunak to search for something without finding it Mencintai to love for the last timeMeet a guilt ridden nurse who atones for her sins by joining her zombified patients in exile; a lone soldier standing guard on a desolate Arctic island against an invasio. Irregular Verbsthis is one of the best short stories i have ever read it was the perfect introduction to this collection which is overall characterized by a preoccupation with languagecommunication and by a strong sense of location this story highlights both themes and is godawfully lovely and tender and sad and 100% relatable despite taking place in an imagined locale with very specific defining ualities it is a truly moving portrayal of grief and helplessness within a well developed world and i loved it to piecesAnother Countryanother really strong offering concerning the plight of the assimilation of prefugees individuals from various historical periods who escape their own times through a fissure that whisks them into the modern world and the man tasked with gentling them into their new temporal surroundings it is both humorous and sad cautionary and smart one thing i love about this guy is his facility with linguistics which is evident throughout but is most humorously deployed here with the very nice detail of the latin syntax cracked me upPublic Safetythis is a tidy little mystery story with the feel of steampunk without actually being steampunk it is full of arcane elements like phrenology and graphology but also good old deductive crime solving where the crime itself isatypical Beyond the Fields You Knowthis one would fit really nicely into the whole tor shorts project a dark tale about a narniawonderland like world beyond ours where children pass through a portal and encounter talking animals and other children from our world but with the shape of a sweatshop than anything magically enticing and where the secret dreams of children and their longing for adventure are exploited and used to ensnare them into servitude there will be blood What You Couldn't Leave Behinda noir reimagining of limbo When We Have Timeoh man well done this a small scale sci fi family story that is genuinely haunting with an extra little kick at the end BOOMThe Wise Foolish Sonthis one is most notable for its structure and i'm not sure i have fully figured it out on the first read it is framed as a story being told by an old man to a group of listeners while a village burns in the background but the story itself is actually two different story threads related and woven together one a fairytale type and one anthropological in nature grounded by the central character dasatdasatan and the idea of home good interesting stuff going on here but i definitely need to give it a second passLong Pigshort funny delicious Talking Bluesa new take on hell if it were a film it would be 12 years a slave meets cesar chavez meets inside llewyn davis and would probably win all the oscars The Face of the Watersjewish diaspora meet medical sci fi thriller Outside Chancea time traveling retrohistorian searches for the good one amidst all possible futures and finds a library a conspiracy and loveClosing Timea son endures his father's ghost resentfully through an interminable and expensive posthumous ritual only to find that maybe the old man still has some lessons to impart after all this one has the feel of a genuine tale from distant far eastern lands which i think is one of johnson's strongest skills he is able to create stories that feel authentic and true but are in completely imagined mythologies and locales borrowing tonal elements from the real world but creating languages and other little details from outta nowhere and nothing seems superficial all the stories have a weight of confident structure behind them it's a rare ualityalso this story made me very hungryLagosthe unexpected origin of the 419The Dragon's Lessonthis one has a shirley jackson feel to it like if she were to reimagine a grimm's tale filled with jealousy resentment deceit and dragons a perfect and completely unexpected ending to this one a little nod to my favorite fairy tale cap o'rushes and a lesson in diminishing returnsAu Coeur des Ombresthis is a sort of callback to Public Safety with some Heart of Darkness overtones but with a much altruistic kurtz figure Jump Froga fun little origin story for mark twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras CountyThe Afflicteda great new spin on the tired old zombie story aka eldercare with riflesHoldfastsigh nothing to see here just another one of his meticulously rendered perfect folktales that reads completely differently from all the others that have come before just complete mastery of craft no big whoop The Coldest Warpsychological suspense in the remote polar region like a less bloody version of the thing ooorrr iiisssss iiiittWritten by the Winnersa time in which top hits of the 80's and family ties can become contraband nixon never existed and flirting is still difficultHeroic Measureseven the mightiest must one day come to an endThe Last Islandertechnology intervenes to restore what nature has destroyed for the sake of tourism and one man's memoriesin conclusion a really solid collection of stories that i enjoyed primarily because they never fell into that samey samey beige mash that affects so many single author collections while there are unifying themes between many of the stories they are always approached from a different angle with a different voice it's kind of extraordinary and i will definitely be reading his next collection or dare i dream a full lengthercome to my blog

CHARACTERS ✓ SIGMAENCLOSURES.CO.UK ☆ Matthew Johnson

N that may be all in his mind; a folksinger who tries to unionize Hell; and a private eye who only takes your case after you die Visit a resettlement centre for refugees from ancient Rome; a lost country recreated by its last citizen on the Internet; and a restaurant where the owner’s. Matthew Johnson is a writer of many gifts and incomparable imagination He is at his best in stories like Irregular Verbs Closing Time or Holdfast where familiar yet inventive locales and exotic cultures play a prominent role in the narratives From the Far East to the Arctic to medieval Nordic style villages Johnson handles the difficulties of regional flavor and authenticity with a deft hand and a keen sense for the evocative details that can bring a story to life Irregular Verbs in particular the title story set on an island chain where languages evolve over a conversation is hauntingly effective at distilling the intricacies and intimacies of a husband and wife's shared life and way of communicating and what happens when one dies and the other must go on returning to a world and language they no longer fully comprehend or want toOthers in the collection are good without being great Heroic Measures The Last Islander The Coldest War all worth the read A few of the stories however fall short of the mark and seem to have been written by another author altogether The sense in the better stories of an unforced and unhurried attention to language and rhythm is nowhere to be found in these outliers In 'JumpFrog' for instance Johnson gives us ample evidence of why one should never attempt to write a story in Mark Twain's voice the only possible outcome is an unflattering one In 'Au Coeur des Ombres' we are forced to ride along on a thinly veiled take on 'Heart of Darkness' set in an alternate reality of Louisiana and without any of the dread or tension or superb characterization of the original In 'The Afflicted' an odd and ineffectual zombie mashup the narrative wanders perplexingly through bloated sentences and incomprehensible character behaviors sure I'll let the little girl bandage up her zombified grandmother what's the worst that could happen and that lead unsurprisingly nowhere While I admire a writer for a wide reach in styles here it seems almost as if some of these stories were filler a few irregular adverbs thrown in to thicken the space between covers when the book would have been far stronger without them I Am Jane Goodall die Visit a resettlement centre for refugees from ancient Rome; a lost country recreated by its last citizen on the Internet; and a restaurant where the owner’s. Matthew Johnson is a writer of many gifts and incomparable imagination He is at his best in stories like Irregular Verbs Closing Time or Holdfast where familiar yet inventive locales and exotic cultures play a prominent role in the narratives From the Far East to the Arctic to medieval Nordic style villages Johnson handles the Attentat mot Vita huset (Kane & Abel, difficulties of regional flavor and authenticity with a Twenty Questions deft hand and a keen sense for the evocative O Melhor Livro Sobre Nada details that can bring a story to life Irregular Verbs in particular the title story set on an island chain where languages evolve over a conversation is hauntingly effective at Lost and Fondue (A Cheese Shop Mystery, distilling the intricacies and intimacies of a husband and wife's shared life and way of communicating and what happens when one Who Were the Wright Brothers? dies and the other must go on returning to a world and language they no longer fully comprehend or want toOthers in the collection are good without being great Heroic Measures The Last Islander The Coldest War all worth the read A few of the stories however fall short of the mark and seem to have been written by another author altogether The sense in the better stories of an unforced and unhurried attention to language and rhythm is nowhere to be found in these outliers In 'JumpFrog' for instance Johnson gives us ample evidence of why one should never attempt to write a story in Mark Twain's voice the only possible outcome is an unflattering one In 'Au Coeur The Expat Diaries des Ombres' we are forced to ride along on a thinly veiled take on 'Heart of Darkness' set in an alternate reality of Louisiana and without any of the The Hired Man dread or tension or superb characterization of the original In 'The Afflicted' an odd and ineffectual zombie mashup the narrative wanders perplexingly through bloated sentences and incomprehensible character behaviors sure I'll let the little girl bandage up her zombified grandmother what's the worst that could happen and that lead unsurprisingly nowhere While I admire a writer for a wide reach in styles here it seems almost as if some of these stories were filler a few irregular adverbs thrown in to thicken the space between covers when the book would have been far stronger without them

Matthew Johnson ☆ 1 FREE READ

Ghost lingers for one final party Discover the inflationary effects of a dragon’s hoard the secret connection between Mark Twain and Frankenstein and the magic power of blackberry jam all in this debut collection of strange funny and bittersweet tales by acclaimed writer Matthew Johnso. Above average anthology


10 thoughts on “Irregular Verbs and Other Stories

  1. says:

    Irregular Verbsthis is one of the best short stories i have ever read it was the perfect introduction to this collection which is overall characterized by a preoccupation with languagecommunication and by a strong sense of location this story highlights both themes and is godawfully lovely and tender and sad and 100% relatable despite taking place in an imagined locale with very specific defining ualities it is a truly moving portrayal of grief and helplessness within a well developed world and i loved it to piecesAnother Countryanother really strong offering concerning the plight of the assimilation of prefugees individuals from various historical periods who escape their own times through a fissure that whisks them into the modern world and the man tasked with gentling them into their new temporal surroundings it is both humorous and sad cautionary and smart one thing i love about this guy is his facility with linguistics which is evident throughout but is most humorously deployed here with the very nice detail of the latin syntax cracked me upPublic Safetythis is a tidy little mystery story with the feel of steampunk without actually being steampunk it is full of arcane elements like phrenology and graphology but also good old deductive crime solving where the crime itself isatypical Beyond the Fields You Knowthis one would fit really nicely into the whole tor shorts project a dark tale about a narniawonderland like world beyond ours where children pass through a portal and encounter talking animals and other children from our world but with the shape of a sweatshop than anything magically enticing and where the secret dreams of children and their longing for adventure are exploited and used to ensnare them into servitude there will be blood What You Couldn't Leave Behinda noir reimagining of limbo When We Have Timeoh man well done this a small scale sci fi family story that is genuinely haunting with an extra little kick at the end BOOMThe Wise Foolish Sonthis one is most notable for its structure and i'm not sure i have fully figured it out on the first read it is framed as a story being told by an old man to a group of listeners while a village burns in the background but the story itself is actually two different story threads related and woven together one a fairytale type and one anthropological in nature grounded by the central character dasatdasatan and the idea of home good interesting stuff going on here but i definitely need to give it a second passLong Pigshort funny delicious Talking Bluesa new take on hell if it were a film it would be 12 years a slave meets cesar chavez meets inside llewyn davis and would probably win all the oscars The Face of the Watersjewish diaspora meet medical sci fi thriller Outside Chancea time traveling retrohistorian searches for the good one amidst all possible futures and finds a library a conspiracy and loveClosing Timea son endures his father's ghost resentfully through an interminable and expensive posthumous ritual only to find that maybe the old man still has some lessons to impart after all this one has the feel of a genuine tale from distant far eastern lands which i think is one of johnson's strongest skills he is able to create stories that feel authentic and true but are in completely imagined mythologies and locales borrowing tonal elements from the real world but creating languages and other little details from outta nowhere and nothing seems superficial all the stories have a weight of confident structure behind them it's a rare ualityalso this story made me very hungryLagosthe unexpected origin of the 419The Dragon's Lessonthis one has a shirley jackson feel to it like if she were to reimagine a grimm's tale filled with jealousy resentment deceit and dragons a perfect and completely unexpected ending to this one a little nod to my favorite fairy tale cap o'rushes and a lesson in diminishing returnsAu Coeur des Ombresthis is a sort of callback to Public Safety with some Heart of Darkness overtones but with a much altruistic kurtz figure Jump Froga fun little origin story for mark twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras CountyThe Afflicteda great new spin on the tired old zombie story aka eldercare with riflesHoldfastsigh nothing to see here just another one of his meticulously rendered perfect folktales that reads completely differently from all the others that have come before just complete mastery of craft no big whoop The Coldest Warpsychological suspense in the remote polar region like a less bloody version of the thing ooorrr iiisssss iiiitt??Written by the Winnersa time in which top hits of the 80's and family ties can become contraband nixon never existed and flirting is still difficultHeroic Measureseven the mightiest must one day come to an endThe Last Islandertechnology intervenes to restore what nature has destroyed for the sake of tourism and one man's memoriesin conclusion a really solid collection of stories that i enjoyed primarily because they never fell into that samey samey beige mash that affects so many single author collections while there are unifying themes between many of the stories they are always approached from a different angle with a different voice it's kind of extraordinary and i will definitely be reading his next collection or dare i dream? a full lengthercome to my blog


  2. says:

    upgrading a star cause that first story for shits it's good read itNETGALLEY ARCThis massive collection of short stories will engage some frustrate others and enrapture many It is after all a very uniue offering one that spans the gauntlet of subject matter and explores the dirtiness of human existence The author explores the layers of mundane life transitions—even though on their own these are tragic and often unnecessarily cruel—through a contemporary lens that cuddles up to surrealism while nodding to gothic fiction and brushing shoulders with Joseph Conrad as Karen points out as well other author of years past Oh Eggars’ early work is in here too particularly On Wanting to Have Three Walls Before She Gets Home Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly and The Only Meaning of the Oil Wet Water Stylistically there is the sleekness of Aimme Bender throughout the collection whereby the author imparts a smooth delicate approach to surrealism that holds firmly on reality If you like Bender Tessa Mella Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge and again Eggars then this is a collection you will drown in with pleasure among its titillating and intellectually arousing pages Unfortunately there are times when the collection’s broad use of styles is less a brightly arranged jazz ensemble and a confusing collection of contrasting notesLanguage meaning wellness resentment hope suffering grief and resolution are themes that tether the massive amount of short stories together However the broad style though commendable made me dizzy and I skipped a few But when it’s good it’s awesomeThe first story Irregular Verbs recalled “Both Hands” by Ani Difranco It attracts in its delicate and achingly tragic conceptualization of bereavement at the same time that it repeals because it is just too fucking familiar and raw and awful The personal meaning making and intimacy of langue is explored This IS AMAZING BUY this book JUST for this short storyAnother Country explores the implications of developing euilibrium between self and new culture as the author explores the depths of immigrating to a new country Assimilation to various degrees presents itself as a difficult task for many of the characters There is time travel tooBeyond the Field You Know is all Alice in Wonderland meets up with the movie Looper in a fantasy esue short laced with threads of horror Children are persuaded to enter portals with false expectations and gifts You will probably read other articles that reference The Wild Things but eh not so much Some fear their situation some struggle to adjust while one in particular gets pissed even though he is fairly scared too Talking Blues is a brand new spanking exhibition into hell and into the human experience of struggling without resiliency and without a guiding hand It’s also sorta about love Music is LOVE and passion and all things good like a snow day for kids When We Have Time is beautiful in its execution as well as its interpretation of family It’s one of my favorites It will have different meaning for different people Closing Time Oh you didn’t appear to be offering much but upon a second reading— of a skim which I recommend—you were so much A young man caught up in his own busy life on the cusp of marriage and transitioning as the owner of his fathers restaurant is forced to follow the tradition of feeding his father’s ghost and mourners; so cool by the way At the end he recognizes the utility of his late father’s vast collection of stories and adjusts to the idea that maybe there is some residue of meaning that he didn’t attend to when first hearing them We must all slow down Long Pig Again themes of changing to fit a foreign culture but on a personal ethical level The wellness and meaning behind slowing down and enjoying the little things Breathingmeditating on your life Another favorite The Last Islander An unusual depiction on change what it means for everyone and the moments before and after you relinuish your memories to this change Community togetherness technology and tenderness Heroic Measures The resilience of self the resilience others and how grieving is a two person thing Perfectness ABSOLUTE LOVEThe Dragon’s Lesson dragons DRAGON Lying cheating jealousy lessons to be learned And a kids dream to ride on top of a dragon minus the pain and bleedingThe Wise Foolish Son A folk tale sifted through two different lenses The first a wise old man telling it to a group It’s old the story perhaps a bit embellished There is meaning and answers behind the story but will it be fully understood? The second is of a first hand exploration of the events—or is it? The contrast between the two stories brings about feelings that these two perspectives may be eually unreliable The main character is Dasat or Dasatan depending on the story and it is through him that we gain a better perspective; I mean sorta not really Pretty but I cant decide if it was over churned a bit too much or if it's just too smart for me I just made that one up I have no fucking clue what's about zero


  3. says:

    Wow I really don't know how to write this review because I think this got to be the best collection of short stories that I have ever read Not that I had read that many but you know Matthew Johnson has this amazing mind and how he'd come up with all that stuff and make his worlds so real in so few words is beyond my fantasyI don't want to say too much about each story because I think the best way to approach this collection is to not know much at all but I just need to mention the title story Irregular Verbs It's so elegant and beautiful Just look at this sentence Eighteen monsoons had passed in between enough time for the two of them to develop a language of such depth and complexity that no third person could ever learn it so utterly their own that it was itself an island without ties to any of its neighboursNot only is the language beautiful it's a story about grief about fear and most of all about loveThere's so many themes in this collection family death changes history war and Danes yay and of course technology Technology is actually a huge theme in the book and many of the short stories take place in alternative dystopian ish universes One of the most awesome settings being Another Country where people from the past centuries timetravels to the present to live their lives there I didn't like all of the stories and some of them felt a little flat to me but I could seperate the stories from each other; a problem that I had had in the past with some short story collections I could just go on and on how Johnson's mind must be some brilliant maze each way leading to a new universe and he's the only one who knows the exact way out but it was indeed a wonderful experience getting lost there


  4. says:

    Irregular Verbs and Other Stories by Matthew Johnson is a wonderful anthology of short stories about everythingThere's a story about a husband who's wife is dead and he starts to forget the language the two of them talked with each other so he starts to write it down and when parer and floor isn't enough he uses his skin About prefugees from old Rome who do not assimilate into modern times and want to go back About a detective in Noveu Orleans who is investigating a threat to kill Her and this Her is not a person And about boys who have been tricked to follow an magical creature into a rabbit hole just o end up in Wonderland and work under rabbit and hedgehog And there is a story about an waiting room before final departure where an angel is helping you to leave all your baggage behindThere is this story about a happy family but since father loses his job they can not pay for the machine that filled the place of their daughter andAnd then there's this fairy tale about three brothers and what really happened And a story about mindful cooking where no part goes to waste and no creature is hurt against their will And how the cheapest products are Made in Hell And how Jews may have found their promised land And then there are the future forecasters who look for the possible futures delete the worst and when they find the perfect they do not want to returnAnd then there is a very chatty ghost who does not want to leave and his son is at his wits end till he finds another ghost who needs a partner to stay There is also a story about household robot operators and the junk mail that interferes with their rest There is another fairy tale about friendship envy greed and dragons And story how government of Noveau Orleans is dealing with natives And a story about Mark Twain's Jumping Frog Frankenstein Frog And about wild elderly people who are become dangerous to other living And then there's this wonderful fairy tale about knots and dragons And about Ice loneliness and confusion There are also history's guardians who keep too strongly to some little keepsakes that are left behind from changed history And then there is an sad story about an hero's end And an wonderful story how to keep alive our memories about lost islandsEach story was incredible it had it's own little world it had it's own voice and it's own soul This is a perfect book to prove that you may not judge book by it's cover since this cover does not give any clue how rich this book is inside


  5. says:

    Matthew Johnson is a writer of many gifts and incomparable imagination He is at his best in stories like Irregular Verbs Closing Time or Holdfast where familiar yet inventive locales and exotic cultures play a prominent role in the narratives From the Far East to the Arctic to medieval Nordic style villages Johnson handles the difficulties of regional flavor and authenticity with a deft hand and a keen sense for the evocative details that can bring a story to life Irregular Verbs in particular the title story set on an island chain where languages evolve over a conversation is hauntingly effective at distilling the intricacies and intimacies of a husband and wife's shared life and way of communicating and what happens when one dies and the other must go on returning to a world and language they no longer fully comprehend or want toOthers in the collection are good without being great Heroic Measures The Last Islander The Coldest War all worth the read A few of the stories however fall short of the mark and seem to have been written by another author altogether The sense in the better stories of an unforced and unhurried attention to language and rhythm is nowhere to be found in these outliers In 'JumpFrog' for instance Johnson gives us ample evidence of why one should never attempt to write a story in Mark Twain's voice the only possible outcome is an unflattering one In 'Au Coeur des Ombres' we are forced to ride along on a thinly veiled take on 'Heart of Darkness' set in an alternate reality of Louisiana and without any of the dread or tension or superb characterization of the original In 'The Afflicted' an odd and ineffectual zombie mashup the narrative wanders perplexingly through bloated sentences and incomprehensible character behaviors sure I'll let the little girl bandage up her zombified grandmother what's the worst that could happen? and that lead unsurprisingly nowhere While I admire a writer for a wide reach in styles here it seems almost as if some of these stories were filler a few irregular adverbs thrown in to thicken the space between covers when the book would have been far stronger without them


  6. says:

    Full review at July 10I received a digital copy of this title for review from the publishers via NetgalleyTen Second Synopsis A collection of fascinating tales for the intrepid and fearless armchair travellerI was pleasantly surprised by this collection because although I enjoy reading short stories I often find that collections can be hit and miss With Irregular Verbs I was happy to discover that not only did I enjoy the vast majority of these stories but I also found myself deeply engaged in the tales within the first page Johnson seems to be a master at efficient realistic world building A number of the stories take place in alternate versions of our own time or worlds that feature some aspect of time travel and I never felt like I had to work to figure out what was going on Within the first page or two I was totally drawn in and the idiosyncracies of each world seemed perfectly reasonableOverall I found this to be a fascinating collection of stories that deal with scenarios that give pause for thought Whether it’s the uestion of what exactly it is that keeps a common history safe in the minds of a society or the conundrum of end of life directives for a being that seems to be immortal these tales will get you thinking and by the end you might as I did appreciate the vast caverns of imagination that Johnson has put to work hereRecommended


  7. says:

    Anthologies are often subjective and a little hit or miss but this one had some great stand outs Personal favourites include Public Safety Beyond the Fields You Know When We Have Time Heroic Measures


  8. says:

    Some are fantastic some are to short but every one has it's moments


  9. says:

    Above average anthology


  10. says:

    The cover to this collection popped out to me on NetGalley and the name Matthew Johnson immediately rang a bell of vague familiarity I knew I’d read a lot by the author mostly in Asimov’s Science Fiction and also in The Magazine of Fantasy Science Fiction and respected online publications like Strange Horizons and Fantasy Magazine the latter now merged into LightspeedI recalled his name with fondness not a sense of trepidation But I couldn’t really remember any particular story clearly from a title nor did I have any sense in my head of what kind of story Johnson writesGoing through this grand debut collection of twenty two stories spanning over a decade of productivity I begin to get a sense why Johnson’s writing doesn’t fit neatly into a single sub genre mold nor within the confines of any particular style to my note His stories are incredibly varied within the vast SFFantasy field and the breadth of markets where he has published is a testament to how well he can move across the spectrumWhile reading the contents didn’t jog specific memories several of the stories became immediately familiar once starting them anew in this collection With that special joy of rediscovering something beloved but neglected I savored this group of stories notably “Another Country” and “The Afflicted” Though I recalled loving each originally I had never connected that they were written by the same person likely because these two stories are very different on the surface – one an alternate history or time travel mashup of sorts and another a post apocalyptic zombie taleYet both feature a strong emotional resonance that reaches beyond the plot For Johnson’s stories are full of realistic characters with basic human struggles that readers can relate to Even when those characters are temporally displaced Romans struggling in present day culture and bureaucracy or a young woman trying to provide medical aid and hope to the populace of a plague ravaged wastelandOthers including in the introduction to this collection have discussed the importance of language and communication as a defining characteristic link between Johnson’s stories This theme is certainly present in several stories here mostly notably the title piece of the collection “Irregular Verbs” New to me this opening story is profoundly powerful and moving the type of short story that should be featured in a Best of literary collection regardless of the fantasy ‘created’ world in which it is set A perfect tale tot start this collection because you don’t want to stop reading after it closesThe plot and culture of Irregular Verbs rests on this theme of linguistic communication of words I believe a better well accurate common theme between Johnson’s works however involves the setting It isn’t so much as Johnson’s characters are struggling to find the proper precise words to communicate it is that they are struggling to exist in a time and a place where they are not really meant to be His characters are ‘fish out of water’ or ‘strangers in a strange land’For instance in the wonderfully spooky “Beyond the Fields You Know” the sole story I’d classify as horror in the collection the child protagonist is enticed into a dark magical realm of slavery a place and position he should not be in and that of course he is trying to find escape from And sometimes the character learns that the setting they are trying to free themselves from is actually what they need most “Closing Time” In others “The Dragon’s Lesson” or the previously mentioned “Another Country” and “The Afflicted” the characters struggle to maintain a personal culture or moral outlook that is in direct opposition to the society they find themselves withinWith such a large collection as this with stories varying in every way imaginable including from humorously light to deeply serious it is likely that there will be some things in this collection that you might not like as much as others And that’s okay There are a few authors out there who I can adore for each thing they produce but many uality writers like Johnson who will produce something amazing one day and something that just isn’t my cup of tea the nextThe high points of this vast collection though make it an easy recommendation for any fan of speculative fiction particularly if you are someone that normally doesn’t read the shorter published works out there A handful of exceptional tales that deserve universal note beyond the realms of genre such as the lead off “Irregular Verbs” also should give this collection a certain broader appealDisclaimer I received a free electronic reading copy of this from ChiZine Publications via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review at


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