I must confess that I'm not normally one for short stories; I usually find it frustrating to read characters and story lines that never quite develop as they would over the course of a full novel. But it is for that very reason that 'Short Lived' came as such a welcome surprise, as each of these beautifully crafted gems felt nothing but compete, captivating me from the off.
The tales in 'Short Lived' take everyday issues, from the monotony of getting a mortgage to the tedious morning commute, splicing them in a way that feels wonderfully natural with fantasy elements that skirt along the 'did that really just happen?' line. The authors wear both their hearts and literary influences on their sleeves and the collection is all the better for it. Fans of romance, Gaiman, Carroll, King and dare I say it even the New Weird rejoice!
All of the stories that Short Lived contains are quite fantastic, making it hard to pick out a definitive favourite. But if pushed, 'It's just the house settling' is a metaphorical dream and 'Self portrait in charcoal and tears' feels like a 300 page novel somehow (inexplicably, magnificently) crammed into nine pages. And 'Daffodils', the shortest of the bunch, is sure to generate the most tears.
A must-read from start to finish!