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End of the Road
 
 

End of the Road [Kindle Edition]

Lavie Tidhar , S. L. Grey , Philip Reeve , Adam Nevill , Jonathan Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

ON THE ROAD TO NOWHERE

Each step leads you closer to your destination, but who, or what, can you expect to meet along the way?

Here are stories of misfits, spectral hitch-hikers, nightmare travel tales and the rogues, freaks and monsters to be found on the road. The critically acclaimed editor of Magic, The End of The Line and House of Fear has brought together the contemporary masters and mistresses of the weird from around the globe in an anthology of travel tales like no other. Strap on your seatbelt, or shoulder your backpack, and wait for that next ride... into darkness.

An incredible anthology of original short stories from an exciting list of writers including the best-selling Philip Reeve, the World Fantasy Award-winning Lavie Tidhar and the incredible talents of S.L. Grey, Ian Whates, Jay Caselberg, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Zen Cho, Sophia McDougall, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Anil Menon, Rio Youers, Vandana Singh, Paul Meloy, Adam Nevill and Helen Marshall.

About the Author

Jonathan Oliver is the editor-in-chief of Solaris and Abaddon. He has previously had stories published in a variety of magazines and anthologies in the UK and the US. He has written two novels for Abaddon Books - The Call of Kerberos and The Wrath of Kerberos - and his four anthologies for Solaris have received widespread critical acclaim and awards nominations.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 609 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Solaris (24 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GWQAORA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #367,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crooked paths... 16 Dec 2013
By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is another excellent anthology from Jonathan Oliver, paralleling his The End of the Line.

Again the stories revolve (loosely) around travel: what we might meet out there, where we go, what may come out of the darkness. Rather than the claustrophobia of the Underground, in this book, Oliver draws together stories of the open road - whether it's an empty urban motorway at 2am, a country lane, or the backstreets of Birmingham. We meet accidents. There are travellers who know where they're going - or think they do. Some whose journeys are cut short. There are also stories of roads as metaphors for understanding the universe, and there are roads that are hostile, in various different ways.

In "We Know Where We're Goin" (Philip Reeve) generations of itinerant roadbuilders work towards Where We're Goin across a bleak (post apocalyptic) landscape.

"Fade to Gold" (Benjanun Sriduangkaew) describes the return of a soldier in ancient Thailand, and the difficulty of leaving the war behind.

"Without a Hitch" (Ian Whates) is the only hitch-hiker story in the book - and has a twist on what you'd normally expect.

"Balik Kampung" (Zen Cho) is the story of a returned "hungry ghost" in a story that looks at the Malaysian equivalent of Hallowe'en - but from the perspective of the departed, and with a modern, slangy sense of verve.

"Driver Error" (Paul Meloy) describes what a moment's inattention can lead to, but with a creepy difference.

In "Locusts" by Lavie Tidhar, we get a tour of early 20th century Palestine, on the verge of great change, and a prophetic view of coming horrors.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Selection of Top authors 22 Jan 2014
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Short Urban Fantasy stories are a joy for the modern commuter. It's a great way to not only try authors you've either not heard of before or been unsure to try because of the tight finances and a wonderful way to have something a little different every few pages.

The stories within are wonderfully woven with each giving the reader something take away from their reading session. And whilst everyone will have their own favourite (my own was Adam Nevills) all round will generate something that you will love with each conclusion. All round a great piece of fun and definitely something to share with the house bookworm if they love UF. Magic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid Oliver anthology 17 Dec 2013
By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Scary stories are still tricky reads for me. The balance between deliciously scary and nightmare-inducing is a thin line. As opposed to End of the Line which was straight-up horror, End of the Road takes road stories on with a slant to the weird, but still there are some pretty scary stories here. However, they stayed firmly on the side of deliciously scary, even if some of them pushed the line quite closely.

I enjoyed this anthology quite a bit, though some of the stories didn't really resonate with me, most notably the stories by Reeve and Nevill. Coincidentally, these were the opening and closing stories of the anthology. Technically, they were good stories and the craft that went into them was great, but they both made me feel impatient to get to the ending and not because I needed to know how the tale ended. The thing that put me off We Know Where We're Goin, the Philip Reeve story, was also its major strength: the rhythm and, for want of a better word, dialect the story is told in. I usually don't mind dialects in my fiction, but in this case even though it was really well done, it grated more than it worked for me. In the case of Adam Nevill's story, Always in Our Hearts, while I appreciated the structure and plot, I just couldn't connect to the characters and their emotions. However, even if these two didn't work for me, there were plenty of others that did. The following ones were the ones I connected to the most.

Benjanun Sriduangkaew - Fade to Gold
Fade to Gold features an interesting protagonist, a soldier who is quickly revealed to be female by the woman she meets on the road, who in turn has her own secret to keep.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the remarkable journey that make the The End of the Road worthwhile. 10 Dec 2013
By Bob Milne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Given how much I enjoyed last year's Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane, I was definitely eager to sample another batch of tales, as selected by Jonathan Oliver, when this one crossed my desk. While I didn't enjoy it quite as much, The End of the Road: An Anthology of Original Fiction is a very strong collection, and one that's exceptionally diverse in the range of both roads traveled, and authors included. In fact, readers looking for something new and original will find a lot to like in this collection. The authors selected by Oliver here literally take us around the world, and though a wide variety of mythologies along the way.

For me, the collection stumbled a bit getting on the road. 'We Know Where We’re Goin' by Philip Reeve may very well be a fascinating story, but I found myself turned off by the fragmented pidgin sort of English in its narration, and just didn't have the patience to continue with it.

Fortunately, if we misfired on that first tale, Fade to Gold by Benjanun Sriduangkaew got the literary engine running just fine. It's a tale of Thai history and mythology, and one that plays a bit with gender expectations along the road. Some of the language and the imagery here was quite exquisite, especially in the final, sun-tinged scene. Without a Hitch by Ian Whates was another solid, unsettling sort of tale, the kind of story that reminds you of just why it's such a bad idea to pick up hitchhikers. Of course, there's a slight paranormal twist here, but it's one that doesn't hit you until the end.

The next tale didn't make much of an impression on me, leaving me with a bit of highway hypnosis, but Driver Error by Paul Meloy definitely pulled my eyes back to the road. It starts out so simply, with a father going to pick up his daughter from a party gone wrong, only to witness a horrific hit-and-run along the way. Meloy does a great job of painting the scene and putting us inside the father's head, but then refuses to take the story where we expect it to go. In fact, it turns out to be a time-jumbled pretzel of a tale that still gets better and better the more I think about it.

After another soft entry, during which I fiddled with the radio and adjusted the mirrors, The Track by Jay Caselberg put my hands firmly back on the wheel once again. It's a rather simple story of a vehicular walkabout through the barren deserts of Australia. It's almost as full of foreboding as it is heat and dust storms, but the grinning dingo at the end makes it all worth it. This time, it was two tales in a row that drove me to distraction, but I found the edges of the highway again with The Widow by Rio Youers. To say much about this is to spoil the surreal sort of way in which it unfolds - punctuated by some of the simplest, most graphic scenes of torture imaginable - but it's a fantastic tale of loss, grief, madness, and revenge.

Once again, it seems I took my eyes from the road for a pair of stories, but Bingo by S. L. Grey jolted me back into alertness. In a story that's reminiscent of Driver Error, it starts out rather simply with a close call and a little road rage that turns out to be somewhat delayed. It's an interesting twist on the tale of the Good Samaritan, and one with a really creepy final scene of children at the highway fence.

After one final story forgotten on the side of the road, Adam Nevillblah brings us to the end of our journey with Always in Our Hearts. Just as Bingo hearkened back to Driver Error, this one has echoes of The Widow, except here we're on the other side of that madness and sorrow. In a story that has a very sort of Twilight Zone feel to it, we know we're being taken for a ride, but we cannot begin to imagine what sort of darkness awaits us at the end.

Detours and distractions aside, the stories that worked for me here worked very well indeed. It's those two pairs of complimentary stories - Bingo & Driver Error and The Widow & Always in Our Hearts - that I think encapsulate the anthology the best. They're the stories that remind us that sometimes roads come to resemble one another, and sometimes one journey may evoke memories of another, but they rarely take us to exactly the same place twice, and never in exactly the same way.

The road indeed "goes on forever" as Meloy reminds us in his tale, which is fine, because sometimes it's the remarkable journey that make the The End of the Road worthwhile.
4.0 out of 5 stars Crooked paths... 12 Jan 2014
By D. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is another excellent anthology from Jonathan Oliver, paralleling his The End of the Line.

Again the stories revolve (loosely) around travel: what we might meet out there, where we go, what may come out of the darkness. Rather than the claustrophobia of the Underground, in this book, Oliver draws together stories of the open road - whether it's an empty urban motorway at 2am, a country lane, or the backstreets of Birmingham. We meet accidents. There are travellers who know where they're going - or think they do. Some whose journeys are cut short. There are also stories of roads as metaphors for understanding the universe, and there are roads that are hostile, in various different ways.

In "We Know Where We're Goin" (Philip Reeve) generations of itinerant roadbuilders work towards Where We're Goin across a bleak (post apocalyptic) landscape.

"Fade to Gold" (Benjanun Sriduangkaew) describes the return of a soldier in ancient Thailand, and the difficulty of leaving the war behind.

"Without a Hitch" (Ian Whates) is the only hitch-hiker story in the book - and has a twist on what you'd normally expect.

"Balik Kampung" (Zen Cho) is the story of a returned "hungry ghost" in a story that looks at the Malaysian equivalent of Hallowe'en - but from the perspective of the departed, and with a modern, slangy sense of verve.

"Driver Error" (Paul Meloy) describes what a moment's inattention can lead to, but with a creepy difference.

In "Locusts" by Lavie Tidhar, we get a tour of early 20th century Palestine, on the verge of great change, and a prophetic view of coming horrors. Less supernatural/ horror than simply weird, it's still compelling.

"The Track" by Jay Casselberg pits two incautious travellers against the Australian wilderness.

Dagiti Timayap Garda (Rochita Loenen-Ruiz) is a story of transformation, describing what happens when a modern road disturbs the ancient wildlife of a previously remote valley - as, in a different way, is "Through Wylmere Woods" by Sophia McDougall - which has a bonus in being a prequel to one of the stories in Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric & Arcane, describing where two of the characters came from.

"I'm the Lady of Good Times, She Said" (Helen Marshall) is a ghost story, and a story of revenge, laden with the heat and dust of the open road somewhere in the USA of the early 70s - just as Vietnam falls apart - but also the claustrophobia and jeolousies of the small town.

"The Widow" (Rio Youers) is also a story or revenge, featuring the frightening competent Faye who has lost her husband to The Road.

"The Cure" (Anil Menon) is a strange story of a journey to a temple in India, in which a group of travellers with different motives are forced to share a cramped car.

"Bingo" (SL Grey) is another nasty tale of a road accident and the horror that may follow.

"Peripateia" (Vandana Singh) describes a more metaphysical type of rod and the discoveries - about herself, and the world - that it leads a young scientist to.

All of the stories are excellent in their various ways, and taken together, they cover a wide range of time and a great diversity of culture - taking place in the US, the UK, Palestine, Thailand, Malaysia, India, South Africa and other places - including some less well defined, metaphysical territories you won't find on any map. I liked some more than others - it would be unfair to single any out, though I will say that having recently read Adam Nevill's House of Small Shadows I was particularly set up for another dollop of his particularly nasty, brooding horror, and his "Always in our Hearts" which closes the book deminstrates the same talent for evoking an atmosphere of wrongness from everyday detritus as does that story of puppets, glue and sawdust.

I'd rate none of these as less than 3 stars individually, many 4, and some 5 - hence a 4 star rating overall.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid Oliver anthology 17 Dec 2013
By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Scary stories are still tricky reads for me. The balance between deliciously scary and nightmare-inducing is a thin line. As opposed to End of the Line which was straight-up horror, End of the Road takes road stories on with a slant to the weird, but still there are some pretty scary stories here. However, they stayed firmly on the side of deliciously scary, even if some of them pushed the line quite closely.

I enjoyed this anthology quite a bit, though some of the stories didn't really resonate with me, most notably the stories by Reeve and Nevill. Coincidentally, these were the opening and closing stories of the anthology. Technically, they were good stories and the craft that went into them was great, but they both made me feel impatient to get to the ending and not because I needed to know how the tale ended. The thing that put me off We Know Where We're Goin, the Philip Reeve story, was also its major strength: the rhythm and, for want of a better word, dialect the story is told in. I usually don't mind dialects in my fiction, but in this case even though it was really well done, it grated more than it worked for me. In the case of Adam Nevill's story, Always in Our Hearts, while I appreciated the structure and plot, I just couldn't connect to the characters and their emotions. However, even if these two didn't work for me, there were plenty of others that did. The following ones were the ones I connected to the most.

Benjanun Sriduangkaew - Fade to Gold
Fade to Gold features an interesting protagonist, a soldier who is quickly revealed to be female by the woman she meets on the road, who in turn has her own secret to keep. They decide to travel together and what follows is a poignant story about societal expectations, impossible love, and destroying something you treasure before you've discovered its worth.

Dagiti Timayap Garda (of the Flying Guardians) - Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
As with Fade to Gold, Dagiti Timayap Garda features a mythical being. I loved Arbo, the Flying Guardian protagonist and his journey towards the future. To say more of his story and of the young human man, Kagawan, who accompanies him would quickly lead to spoilers; suffice it to say, the twist ending was unexpectedly hopeful.

Bingo - S.L. Grey
In this story S.L. Grey take the question "What would you do to spare someone extended suffering?" and combine it with what seems to be a burning case of road rage. It creates a rather effective blend of horror and fascination. The story, which is only about ten pages long, is also packed with social commentary: on peer pressure, on the lengths people will go to in order to get ahead, on old boy's networks, and on the objectification of women.

Peripateia - Vandana Singh
Singh's story would definitely qualify as weird. I found it fascinating as there was so much to unpack. There's the question of what happened to the main character and her partner, for the latter to walk out giving no explanation for the why of her departure. The mystery of what exactly this road that appears to Sujata exactly is. And perhaps in the end, how much of it was real? Peripateia, the Greek word for turning point gives clues to the answers to all of those questions. I found this a clever story, with fascinating ideas – even though following some of the schemas and scientific hypotheses made my brain hurt – and a beautiful, moving ending.

Through Wylmere Woods - Sophia McDougall
A companion piece to Mailer Daemon, from Oliver's last anthology Magic, the novelette Through Wylmere Woods gives us the origin story for Morgane and her daemon Levanter-Sleet. Sophia McDougall goes into the genesis of the story on her blog. Through Wylmere Woods is my absolute favourite story of the anthology, because as usual McDougall weaves a fantastic tale. What makes this story so wonderful is that it not only looks closely at what it is like to be abused by your family for being different, McDougall also approaches how Morgane's perception of herself differs from the way others perceive her with wonderful sensitivity and care. I loved Morgane's emotional connection to Mr Levanter-Sleet. He was the embodiment of the notion that darkness doesn't necessarily equal evil. Theirs is a wonderful bond and the resolution of Morgane horrific home life was quite dark, but satisfying nonetheless. I'd love to read more about these two in the future. Let's hope they pester McDougall until she writes about them!

Overall, The End of the Road is another solid anthology edited by Jonathan Oliver. What I especially enjoyed about this collection of stories was its diversity. Oliver included authors from all over the world and stories set all over the world, which results in a rich tapestry of mythology and landscape to the stories. If you like weird stories or stories about change and discovery, then I'd definitely recommend picking up The End of the Road.
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