Book Review: Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing

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Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing
Chizine Publications (ebook), expected publication date 12 January 2016
336 Pages

Publisher Website

Amazon (UK)

Amazon.com

I got an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

What It’s About
Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing is a reprint anthology collecting speculative short fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, etc.) that represents the best work published by Canadian writers in the 2014 calendar year.

Opening Paragraph
McGill smoked in the yard. They wouldn’t let him smoke inside. There was a baby there after all. McGill said he understood, but seemed pissed off about it. He stood by the barbecue, squinting at the tree line, calculating the hour, tapping ashes through the grill top. They were pissed off about that. The next round of burgers would have a subtle flavour of McGill and probably the round after those too (THE EXORCIST: A LOVE STORY BY DAVID NICKLE)

What I Thought
I enjoyed Imaginarium 4. I thought the collection had a good mix of stories.

I really enjoyed the range and diversity of the stories. No two stories in the anthology dealt with the same concept so each story contained a surprise. I was impressed by the range on offer.

I thought some of the stories were excellent. The Exorcist: A Love Story by David Nickle used a very interesting concept and I liked the whole-set up. Túshūguăn by Eric Choi was a well-written interesting take on a world in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. From Stone and Bone, From Earth and Sky by A.C. Wise was beautiful and disturbing. The Inn of the Seven Blessings by Matthew Hughes was a very enjoyable, mad-cap adventure. The Full Lazenby by Jeremy Butler offered a very interesting tale set in a future world where status is based on how genetically similar you are to dead celebrities.

The anthology contains a few poems. I enjoy reading poetry but genre poetry leaves me cold. The poems didn’t do anything for me. I just wanted the author to turn them into a piece of flash fiction.

The standout tale was Man in Blue Overcoat by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I can’t quite convey how much this creeped me out and unsettled me.

The other stories were all strong but those mentioned above struck more of a nerve.

Imaginarium 4 is an enjoyable anthology for people who like speculative fiction. I’d recommend this collection.

Stories included:

  • Bamboozled by Kelley Armstrong
  • Witch I by Courtney Bates-Hardy
  • Witch II by Courney Bates-Hardy
  • The Smut Story by Greg Bechtel
  • Kafka’s Notebooks by Jocko Benoit
  • The Full Lazenby by Jeremy Butler
  • Wendigo Nights by Siobhan Carroll
  • A Spell for Rebuilding Your Lover Out of Snow by Peter Chiykowski
  • Túshūguăn by Eric Choi
  • Jelly and the D-Machine by Suzanne Church
  • The Perfect Library by David Clink
  • The Colour of Paradox by A.M. Dellamonica
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon by Cory Doctorow
  • Brains, Brains, Brains by Puneet Dutt
  • The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar
  • A Wish from a Bone by Gemma Files
  • We Be Naked by Zsuzsi Gartner
  • The God of Lost Things by Neile Graham
  • The Lark, The Peat The Star, and Our Time by Neile Graham
  • Chant for Summer Darkness in Northwest Climes by Neile Graham
  • The Beat that Billie Bore by Lisa L. Hannett
  • The Trial of the Beekeeper by Shivaun Hoad
  • Self-Portrait as Bilbo Baggins by Ada Hoffmann
  • The Parable of the Supervillain by Ada Hoffmann
  • The Mermaid at Seaworld by Ada Hoffmann
  • Left Foot, Right by Nalo Hopkinson
  • Return to Bear Creek by Louisa Howerow
  • The Inn of the Seven Blessings by Matthew Hughes
  • What You Couldn’t Leave Behind by Matthew Johnson
  • Hollywood North by Michael Libling
  • Sideshow by Catherine MacLeod
  • Aversions by Helen Marshall
  • Death and the Girl from Pi Delta Zeta by Helen Marshall
  • You’re A Winner! by Matt Moore
  • Man in Blue Overcoat by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Exorcist: A Love Story by David Nickle
  • Hereditary Delusions by Rhonda Parrish
  • Marotte by Tony Pi
  • Charlemagne and Florent by Ranylt Richildis
  • Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield
  • The Tun by Trevor Shikaze
  • Demoted by Kate Story
  • The Snows of Yesteryear by Jean-Louis Trudel
  • Giants by Peter Watts
  • From Stone and Bone, From Earth and Sky by A.C. Wise
  • Outside Heavenly by Rio Youers

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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