Mercedes M. Yardley, Beautiful Sorrows. Apex Publications, 2017. Pp. 156. ISBN 978-1-93700-953-3. $13.99.
Reviewed by Valeria Vitale
Beautiful Sorrows is a collection of fantasy, weird and horror stories by Mercedes M. Yardley that has been recently re-published by Apex Books, after its first appearance for Shock Totem Publications. The collection gathers twenty seven stories of different lengths, from very short flash pieces that do not last more than couple lines, to longer and more complex ones. The book comes with an enthusiastic introduction by P. Gardner Goldsmith that it is, I believe, what every author dreams of reading in the opening words that accompany their book. Beautiful Sorrows is not only described using a long list of superlatives, but is compared to nothing less than the songs of the Sirens.
Julie Novakova (ed.), Dreams From Beyond: Anthology of Czech Speculative Fiction. Julie Novakova, 2016. Pp. 189. No ISBN. Free e-book.
Reviewed by Małgorzata Mika
“How many copies make a bestseller? What does an author need to do in order to have a novel accepted by a publishing house?” (181) Julia Novakova, the Czech writer of science fiction contemplates these questions at the end of her Eurocon anthology, Dreams from Beyond: Anthology of Czech Speculative Fiction. Such vibrant writing, narratives from former USSR countries, with the exception of such authors as Karel Čapek, Jiří Kulhánek, Josef Nesvadba (and of course Stanisław Lem from Poland), have been frequently cut off from the Anglo-Saxon world by the Iron Curtain of unrecognition. The works have remained mostly unknown due to a lack of translations into other languages. Julie Novakova’s Eurocon 2016 anthology gathers short stories and novellas from a group of contemporary writers: those stepping into the world of fantastic, as well as those whose literary presence has been accepted by the Czech world of speculative fiction.