Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Review: Everything is Fine

Everything is Fine Everything is Fine by Grant Stone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everything is definitely not fine in this haunting collection of stories, which range from horror through fantasy to SF. In each one, there is something wrong, and the protagonist doesn't usually fix it, either.

A number of them are set in Auckland, where I live and where I assume the author also lives, and although this is usually an incidental detail rather than something that gives the story an element that it couldn't have if set in any other city, I did enjoy the existence of SFF set in my hometown.

The strongest part of these stories is their emotion. Darker emotions tend to predominate, but I didn't usually feel that the tone was completely hopeless. Even in the worst situations, the endings tended to sound a hopeful note.

The weakest part is the copy editing, in particular the "let's eat Grandma" error (missing comma before a term of address), which is frequent. There are also capitalisation issues and the occasional accidentally missing word. It's a pity, because these stories deserve good editing; the storytelling and other craft aspects are excellent, and I recommend the collection to anyone who enjoys atmospheric SFFH short stories.

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