The Goodreads Gallimaufrey reminded me of my brother. What?
He is a professional singer, smooth stuff and soft rock - he is, after all, of a certain age. Younger than me, but in January he will celebrate his 70th birthday. Still going strong, in fact he has just formed a rock'n'roll group.
Where is this going? What can this have to do with a book? Well, the first time I went to see him perform, after he had turned professional and given up the day job, I was expecting to be underwhelmed - that I would find myself, after the show, digging deep for diplomatic language which would leave him feeling praised and me maintaining my integrity as an honest man who had attended out of fraternal duty.
In fact I was very impressed by his performance - the range of his material and of his voice - his breathing control - his patter and mastery of his audience. I was able to say in all sincerity that I had enjoyed myself, would praise him to the skies and would gladly attend other performances of his as long as he didn't expect me to get up and do a turn with him.
Similarly with the Gallimaufrey. I am a member of the Goodreads UK Amazon Kindle Forum, and an occasional contributor. So when a number of authors on the forum got together (allowing Kath Middleton to do the work of selection, assembly and promotion) to produce this omnibus, I thought the least I could do was to purchase a copy for my Kindle. I also thought I should read it straight away so that I could follow discussion of the book on the forum.
I had not seen any of the work of any of the authors before - just their interchanges on what is a very friendly and cooperative forum. So I had no idea what to expect. But I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found. A very high standard of writing. Some very smart ideas for the stories. I think it would be unfair to single out any one item for praise, but the short piece "Kindling", by Caroline Reid, should be printed as a pamphlet and handed to all those who say, as soon as you tell them you have a Kindle, that they could not possibly read anything which was not the "real book in the hand".
I understand there are to be more Gallimaufreys. Go for it. The more the merrier. I may even come down from my ivory tower and plead for some of my own writing to be included. If I can match up to the standard.