- Average 4.7 from 3 ratings
Dying & Other Stories
Literary speculative fiction
Literary speculative fiction that offers up death. Dirges that cross genre.
The power of literature invites the reader to scrutinise embodiment, to engage with difference. There is ‘queering’ in this collection, it is about forms of difference. Offering a range and diversity that reflects an exploratory nature of writing, each narrative invites the reader to alternate ways of seeing the world. Dying & Other Stories lauds the untraditional, signifies strangeness, oddity, peculiarity, extraordinariness within normalcy.
No. words: 30800
Style: Fantasy - Paranormal, Fantasy
Product type: EBook
Published: 2 / 2018
Available Formats: MOBI EPUB MS Word PDF MS Reader Text RTF
Click Here To Read An Excerpt from Dying & Other Stories
Keywords - click on word to search for more titles
literary speculative fiction short story anthology death
afterlife fantasy futuristic
Eugen M. Bacon is a computer graduate mentally re-engineered into creative writing and has published over 100 short stories. Eugen’s creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Award Winning Australian Writing, AntipodeanSF, Andromeda, Aurealis, Bards and Sages Quarterly, Breach, Bukker Tillibul, Every Day Fiction, Farther Stars Than These, Horrified Press anthologies, 4 Star Stories, Mascara Literary Review, Meniscus, TEXT, Parentheses, The Victorian Writer, the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild – A Hand of Knaves Anthology and through Routledge in New Writing.
Dying & Other Stories
By Eugen Bacon
Quicksilver writing—short review by Dominique Hecq (Writer, poet, scholar)
What makes Dying & Other Stories so good is the way Eugen Bacon refracts language to the point of elemental gesture. It is, as the Preface announces, a work of speculative fiction in the literary tradition. Bacon quotes from Toni Morrison:
Make up a story…For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.
These lines by Morrison are a kind of credo that is honoured throughout the collection. Indeed, for all her literariness, Bacon proves to be a quicksilver writer of the speculative, by turns exploring the here and now tunnelling her vision into the past, future or depth of human emotion; her writing is also by turns sensuous and outrageous, reflective and cutting, antiquated and innovative.
The stories gathered here are airy and prismatic, and the gravitas of her worldview does not preclude intimacy or mischief. Many cultures converge and challenge each other in this collection and these prove to be at odds with the equally pressing need to be an individual in the world. The answer is often to weave myths and fables from different traditions imbued with the politics of gender and race, perhaps best illustrated in the persona of the Phoenix which recurs in different guises and with different attributions throughout the book.
The reader will not be surprised, then, to encounter Death herself in the first story and her retinue of spectres, sorceresses, enchanters, goddesses and spooks that may be human, though it is the Phoenix that triumphs, like the ‘Wolfmother’ of that title story, who spreads her curls on the cover of the book, under the gaze of constellations and galaxies.
(Dominique Hecq (Writer, poet, scholar))Rating: 5 / 5
Dying & Other Stories is a collection of 16 short narratives by Australian author and 2017 Aurealis Convenors Award for Excellence nominee Eugen Bacon. True to speculative fiction’s promise to make the reader ask, ‘what if?’, Dying & Other Stories goes beyond the limitations of literary definition and expectation. Each story in the collection is vastly different from the next—in voice, setting and length. Yet the book comprises an assemblage of narratives that flow seamlessly from one to the other, with snappy dialogue and striking imagery that roll off the tongue and widen the reader’s eyes.
History, mythology and modern-day Aussie life intertwine in Bacon’s Dying & Other Stories...each piece in the collection, whether long or short, is not over until you read the very last word. The reader’s anticipation remains until that final sentence has been revealed, absorbed, digested. But if what you’re seeking are neatly wrapped answers tied with a ribbon, Dying & Other Stories of course won’t give you that. It is, however, a book that delivers. It will present you with 16 narratives that are satisfying, mind-bending and thought-provoking reads. (Angela Wauchop, Other Terrain magazine)Rating: 5 / 5
As the title suggests, Dying & Other Stories also contemplates death from all angles, and the lead-off story, “Dying,” delves deepest into it. Most of us have questioned our existence at some point, wondered if reality is a thin film dividing us from something beyond, or if our daily lives are just bad theatre subject to the whims of a malevolent director behind the curtain. Bacon mates this notion with the central conceit from Groundhog Day in a story about an insurance assessor who can’t escape the daily drudge of his life, not even when he is hit by a truck and reduced to “a mural on the pavement: flesh, blood, brain and bile.”... overall, the story is an interesting metaphor for the Christian concept of salvation...Consider the book’s subtitle a forewarning, then:Dying & Other Stories is not a beach read or a rollicking collection of speculative fiction yarns. You’ll want to come to its pages with at least a passing knowledge of history, mythology, religious texts, science, and the occult to fully appreciate it. This is a book to curl up with on a rainy winter afternoon, when you can give each story its due and reflect on it afterwards.
Kris Ashton (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine)Rating: 4 / 5