Give Me These Moments Back by Mike Chinn
The Alchemy Press (ebook), 2015
I was given a free copy by the publisher in exchange for a review.
Writer Mike Chinn (The Paladin Mandates) takes us on a tour de force…
A ring of external spotlights flared to life, revealing the floor of the Mariana Trench a few metres below us. The backwash filled the observation room with a cold grey light… As one, they gasped at the sight. I didn’t blame them – even though I’d seen it dozens of times, it still caught the back of my throat.
Donnie could feel himself beginning to shake. He clenched his fists, fighting the tremors. For a moment, he back-flashed to October last year: River Phoenix, on a Hollywood sidewalk, dying. No resurrection from the flames that time: no one was reviving dead movie stars.
The storm bounced the Oji-Maru across the ocean like a toy boat. Sky and sea were black; the only light came from the ship’s navigation lamps. Ishimaeru could barely make out the bows and harpoon gun. From somewhere he heard the sound of shattering glass. It reared out of the dark, vast and … and wrong. Nothing but bones…
And more … eighteen stories that range from the depths of the Pacific, the cruel charms of Venice, the price of immortality, to the Appalachian Mountains…
‘If you needed to send your loved ones a message that was your last chance, ladies and gentlemen. We just passed beyond communications range’. The voice on the intercom came over perfectly deadpan (WELCOME TO THE HOTEL MARIANAS)
Give Me These Moments Back is an excellent collection of short stories. I’ve never read the author before, not to my knowledge anyway. One or two of his stories may have been in anthologies I’ve read. The stories are all pretty dark but well-written and highly enjoyable. I liked the range and diversity of the stories; no two stories were alike or dealt with the same subject matter. Each story took me somewhere unexpected. I have a few favourites. Welcome to the Hotel Marianas is one of the best stories in the collection and is brilliant and creepy as hell. I loved the twisted take on Beauty & The Beast that I found in All Beauty Must Die. The Appalachian Collection is a stand-out story. Just the Fare Back Home and Harbour Lights were both unsettling. I’d highly recommend Give Me These Moments Back for fans of dark stories.
- Welcome to the Hotel Marianas
- A Matter of Degree
- All Under Hatches Stow’d
- Be Grateful When You’re Dead
- Kami Ga Kikoemasu
- All Beauty Must Die
- Parlour Games
- Cold Rain
- Once Upon an Easter
- The Appalachian Collection
- Just the Fare Back Home
- Harbour Lights
- Like a Bird
- Give Me These Moments Back
- Brindley’s Place
- Holding It In
- Saving Prince Romero