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The Ephemera by [Williamson, Neil]
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The Ephemera Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 200 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

A strong and memorable collection of stories that will hold its own against any other collection published this year. -- The Harrow, May 2006

Go out now and buy the book and you too can be full of envy. -- Sci-Fi Online, May 2006

From the Publisher

Elastic Press is an award-winning independent publisher of high quality short fiction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 682 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: infinity plus (19 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004X8EHGI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #516,613 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
Short story collections are said to be out of fashion. Publishers claim that the reading public wants only novels. I don't know why. This book is an excellent demonstration of how a short story collection can deliver an entirely different sort of pleasure from a novel: not a sustained narrative but a box of delights.

The stories move between SF, ghost stories, horror and just plain fiction. Heads on sticks, watery ghosts, simian engineers, scenes from World War I, tales of lost love and sailors away at sea, you name it. There's some beautiful writing too. The gem for me was 'A Horse in Drifting Light', a brief, wonderfully restrained account of a disorientating journey into a genetically modified world.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I recently pleaded with Andrew Hook at Elastic Press to get rid of those online "Sold Out" signs and put all thirty Elastic titles onto Print-On-Demand status, so that a wider audience can enjoy their back catalogue. This excellent short story collection by Neil Williamson perfectly illustrates my point.

It quickly becomes apparent within these pages that Williamson has all the skill necessary to be any kind of writer, a mainstream "literary" writer for instance, but chooses to incorporate elements of Sci-Fi, Horror, and Supernatural, in order to serve his own agenda rather than any publisher's or marketeer's whim. In which case "Slipstream" may be the best term to cover this book.

Williamson is adept at delicately bringing his characters to life, through well-observed little details, and switches with alacrity between a cold impersonal style and strong emotions drawn from real life. Stories like "Shine Alone After The Setting Of The Sun" or "Hard To Do" are essentially very touching tales of love and loss in everyday life, with only very tiniest hints of the "speculative" about them.

Then a story like "The Bone Farmer" on the other hand takes us to a wildly surreal post-plague landscape where huge sculptures of human bone are constructed amid isolated rural landscapes, an astonishingly imaginative and unforgettable story, both shocking and beautiful. In "Softly Under Glass" Williamson dazzles us again with descriptions of paintings by an avant-garde artist that I found so arresting that I can't believe they don't exist yet. Brilliantly conceived and constructed, this story grips from first to last. But here's the thing: it also puzzles, and leaves things unanswered (one of the usual trademarks of "Slipstream") which is where Williamson is at his strongest.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An excellent collection of short stories ranging from science fiction to a bleak fantasy, from "real life" to the absurd.

Williamson is able to create full-bodied characters in only a few well-chosen words, to help the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about his stories without having to explicitly clarify it. His subtlety and attention to detail are exceptional, extremely rare nowadays.

A really satisfactory read.
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Format: Paperback
In this exciting collection, Elastic Press have brought together sixteen of Neil Williamson's short stories. Most of these stories have been published before (in The Third Alternative and elsewhere), but it is good to have them gathered together in a nicely presented paperback with a stunning cover design. Readers will soon discover that the title refers not to the stories themselves, which are anything but ephemeral. To be human is to be ephemeral - eyes meeting across a crowded room, a throwaway remark, first love, success or failure, all the details that make our lives unique, ultimately life itself. What these stories have in common is an uncanny ability to evoke some of those ephemeral humanity-defining moments, emotions and experiences.

Some of the stories have a definite science fictional flavour. `Amber Rain' deals with an alien invasion with a difference but we never meet the aliens, except perhaps as a fleeting glimpse towards the end. Instead the story is told through the reappearance of Colin's ex-girlfriend Paddy and the scepticism of his drinking companions. `The Bennie and the Bonobo' builds a time-travel story round the unsuccessful Scottish inventor George Bennie. Like most time-travel stories, it has a number of unsatisfactory loose ends but the quality of the writing and characterization is such that the problems only become apparent after several readings.

A couple of stories venture into territory that might best be described as horror. `Harrowfield' explores the aftermath of one man's occult attempts to bring his wife back from the dead.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Neil Williamson's writing. It speaks to me as a Scot, taking what is familiar situation and making it extraordinary, multi-dimensional. Thoroughly recommend The Ephemera.
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