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Red Phone Box: A Darkly Magical Story Cycle [Kindle Edition]

Warren Ellis , Tim Dedopulos , Dan Wickline , Salome Jones , Salomé Jones
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.99
Kindle Price: £2.86 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Shatter a mirror, and rearrange the pieces. What shapes will you find in the splintered glass?

Sinister forces roam London's streets, skulking through the neon-lit rain. They are not alone. Haunted by memories of the man who abandoned her, Amber goes walking in the deep night. The phone box she enters takes her on a journey she could never have imagined, one in which the past and the future will be rewritten. Others follow in her footsteps, their lives intertwining, and the fate of the world hanging on their dance. Safran, pawn of unfathomable powers. Jon, who has lived and died and lived again. Gloria, who only intended to annoy her daddy. Cory, from a different world, on a desperate quest for allies. They and others will find themselves swept up as the playthings of gods who have managed to get along peacefully for millennia -- until now.

Red Phone Box is a darkly magical story cycle, a network of interweaving tales by a dazzling range of masterful authors, including Gun Machine's Warren Ellis. Let them take you to a very different London -- one that hides on the other side of the fractured glass.

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Review

'A genre-bending collection of horror-fantasy short stories set in London, centering on a red phone booth, gateway to the netherworld. Suffering from insomnia due to her recently ended love affair, Amber sets off on a midnight stroll through London, imagining that her entire body is glowing. She returns to her apartment to find a new boyfriend who can't comprehend why she doesn't know him. What initially seems to be a loosely connected assortment of short stories is actually a short story cycle or composite novel. As the anthology progresses, characters and plot lines interweave. The introduction of the Anglesey Deer, an amulet carved out of one of the trees from the Roman massacre of Druids in Anglesey in A.D. 60, creates another unifying story line. American professor Kelly David travels to England at the behest of Horace Vandenbussche, thinking her tenure will be guaranteed once she obtains this priceless artifact. Instead, she witnesses first his shape-shifting and then his murder. Her quest for the amulet may lead to her own demise, as well as that of several other characters. Particularly heartrending are Francesca Burgon's stories ("Phone Boxes Taste Bad" and "When the Phone Rings"), featuring young Margaret and her perhaps mentally ill, perhaps extremely focused mother, who totes around bags of evidence and makes phone calls to share her findings. The compelling Gloria Vandenbussche, despite her despair at being her father's gofer, is transcendent in the stories in which she appears, particularly Tamsyn Kennedy's "A Brief Transaction," which neatly blends urban fantasy with chick lit. Occasionally disjointed due to the abundance of plotlines, characters and settings, the collection comprises 58 short stories by 29 different authors. Nonetheless, the anthology's style works overall, a testament to skillful editing. A few of the story lines remain unresolved, leaving the door open for the promised Book Two. The quintessentially cheerful symbol of England, the red phone box, doesn't hint at the dark materials contained here. This mix of horror, noir and urban fantasy plays with the boundaries of literary genre fiction.' --Kirkus Reviews

'Red Phone Box is a monster made of words by 28 Dr. Frankensteins. It's a book, a story cycle, and a fever dream where time and space, and human and inhuman lives collide in beautiful madness.' --Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series

'Dark and surreal, the interconnected stories of Red Phone Box will invade your dreams with their twisted charms and make you wish for more.' --Stephen Blackmoore, author of Dead Things

About the Author

Salome Jones (editor/contributor) has an MFA in creative writing from Pacific University, Oregon, and an M.A. in writing from Roehampton University in London, UK. She loves the mixture of highbrow and lowbrow fiction and almost quit her MFA program when she was advised that genre-writing was a waste of her talent. 'Genre writing is my talent,' says Jones. She's currently working on her own novel, also a mix of literary and fantasy. She lives in London with her partner and a dire lack of cats, hopefully soon to be remedied.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4358 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ghostwoods Books (28 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GZWBMG8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #169,947 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read, and a page turner to boot 30 Nov. 2013
By dradd
Format:Paperback
This is a great read. What makes it so good is the unique way the story is woven together. Different authors each write a chapter or two, so you get different writing styles and different views on the book's protagonists. And yet the story hangs together brilliantly - it's as if each author has hung his or her chapter on a clothesline representing the thread of the story, but done so in the correct order, making for a compelling read.

The effect is similar to reading a graphic novel where each chapter has been drawn by a different artist. The story remains constant, and yet you get a different view of the characters and the world they inhabit. Brilliant.

The story itself is intoxicating - how a simple and seemingly innocuous red telephone box can touch and affect so many people's lives in some wonderfully fanciful yet sometimes possibly sinister ways.
I have to admit that halfway through the story I would have been happy to be a character in the book who just sat outside said phone box and watched what happened to each person who entered it. Reading it you'll find yourself unsure as to what is going to happen to a given character next should they enter the phone box. Or leave it...

All of the characters are likeable, and I have to admit that there was no one person whom I took a dislike too. Each chapter deals with a different character, some you wind up rooting for more than others, and some get their just deserts in a timely manner. I never got the feeling that any one character did not fit in the story, the characters are well defined and have a depth that give the story a direction and foundation.

If you enjoy fantasy tinged with mild horror, this is a great read. The story isn't too heavy, and flows really well. A lot of care and attention has gone into the concept and writing style of this book, and it shows. This is not some trashy novel, and after reading it you'll be thinking about the story for days. All good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great kinde read 24 Dec. 2013
By booky
Format:Kindle Edition
I was fortunate enough to be sent an early draft of this book by the publisher and really enjoyed it. Now I have the paperback and kindle editions I can see where they have added a few little finishing touches that have enhanced the book.

So, what is 'Red Phone Box'?

An interwoven story of people -- normal and not-so normal -- who find their lives twisted by contact with a London red phone box. It's interesting that something so iconically British should serve as the gateway to all sorts of strangeness. Many of the characters find themselves caught up as pawns in the struggle between old gods and hidden powers, while others have stranger fates in store.

The book was written by 28 different authors working together, but it never seems like a bitty anthology. The editors have managed to give it a really solid, unified feel. It's more like a steel drum, all one piece, with different spots resonating to different tones. The characters shine through, from Maz the dodgy magician to fiery rich girl Gloria, and as the plot progresses, they fall into their places on the board -- or get swept off it completely. The end provides a satisfyingly powerful conclusion, bringing lots of different threads together very nicely.

The iconic red phone box, once a common site on almost every street in Britain, is fast disappearing. Red Phone Box weaves the titular box in to the tapestry of modern folklore. I hope to see more tales from this group of writers in print soon.

It's a great book, and I definitely recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive reading 23 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I so much did not want this book to end but I had to keep reading! Happily, there seem to be plans for a re-match!

If you like Science fantasy, or a good old adventure story, this is probably the book for you.

I love the idea of several people co-operating to create this tale - I'm amazed by the cohesive voice, throughout.

A brilliant window into a captivating world!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a ride :) 8 Mar. 2014
By Fractos
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this. I have no idea how hard it must have been to organise so many writers to produce this cycle, but the effect is brilliant. Snapshots of people's lives building into patterns and then a very tense climax. Great stuff.
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