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[Baxter, Alan]のCrow Shine (English Edition)
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紙の本の長さ: 296ページ Word Wise: 有効 タイプセッティングの改善: 有効
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内容紹介

The dark fantasy collection features 19 stories, including the Australian Shadows Award-winning "Shadows of the Lonely Dead"; and original title story "Crow Shine" in addition to two other never before published stories.

"Alan Baxter is an accomplished storyteller who ably evokes magic and menace. Whether it’s stories of ghost-liquor and soul-draining blues, night club magicians, sinister western pastoral landscapes, or a suburban suicide–Crow Shine has a mean bite."—Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase.

"Crow Shine, by Alan Baxter, is a sweeping collection of horror and dark fantasy stories, packed with misfits and devils, repentant fathers and clockwork miracles. Throughout it all, Baxter keeps his focus on the universal problems of the human experience: the search for understanding, for justice, and for love. It’s an outstanding book."—Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters.

"Alan Baxter’s fiction is dark, disturbing, hard-hitting and heart-breakingly honest. He reflects on worlds known and unknown with compassion, and demonstrates an almost second-sight into human behaviour."—Kaaron Warren, Shirley Jackson Award-winner and author of The Grief Hole.

"Buy your tickets, step up, and enter the world of Alan Baxter’s debut collection, Crow Shine. Here fates are brutal, justice is swift and merciless, yet even the most ruthless characters are sometimes – just sometimes – strangely touching. Crow Shine will terrify, surprise, and stun you."—Angela Slatter, World Fantasy and British Fantasy Award winning author.

レビュー

"Buy your tickets, step up, and enter the world of Alan Baxter's debut collection, Crow Shine. Here fates are brutal, justice is swift and merciless, yet even the most ruthless characters are sometimes-just sometimes-strangely touching. Crow Shine will terrify, surprise, and stun you." Angela Slatter - World Fantasy and British Fantasy Award winning author "Crow Shine, by Alan Baxter, is a sweeping collection of horror and dark fantasy stories, packed with misfits and devils, repentant fathers and clockwork miracles. Throughout it all, Baxter keeps his focus on the universal problems of the human experience: the search for understanding, for justice, and for love. It's an outstanding book." Nathan Ballingrud - author of North American Lake Monsters "Alan Baxter's fiction is dark, disturbing, hard-hitting and heart-breakingly honest. He reflects on worlds known and unknown with compassion, and demonstrates an almost second-sight into human behaviour." Kaaron Warren - Shirley Jackson Award-winner and author of The Grief Hole

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  • フォーマット: Kindle版
  • ファイルサイズ: 1188 KB
  • 紙の本の長さ: 296 ページ
  • 同時に利用できる端末数: 無制限
  • 出版社: Ticonderoga Publications; First版 (2016/11/13)
  • 販売: Amazon Services International, Inc.
  • 言語: 英語
  • ASIN: B01MRJOQZ8
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5つ星のうち 4.0 Crow Shine Truly Shines 2017/6/10
投稿者 LovecraftLass - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版
First, from a technical point it is very nicely done. The Table of Contents is linked, the formatting is perfect and there is nary a spelling or grammar error to be seen.

The stories were very well-written. Even the ones I didn't care for too much were still written well. They flowed well and there were new takes on older themes that I found unique.

Collections and anthologies can be hard to review as a whole because each story is unique. I like to rate them separately then wrap them up at the end. So, let's get into the Crow Shine and find some magic!

Crow Shine:
The titular story of the collection, Crow Shine is superb. The mix of horror and music has always fascinated me. Partly because it's not usually explored much in writing. There are a few novels but mostly it lends itself to the short story format much better. The Rhythm and Blues genre of music in particular lends itself heavily to horror because of it's roots in folk songs and tales. Many of which speak of murder, the Devil and the restless dead. A particular theme are the 'deals with the Devil' to gain fame and/or guitar prowess (which are not always synonymous). Such as the legend of Robert Johnson. A wide range of musical styles that have horror as it's background and trappings can all be traced back to R&B. But, I digress. Crow Shine has somewhat of the same deal with the Devil theme to it but a nice take on it. It is an unwitting deal that destroys all you love. The Devil never does play fair, even when you don't know you're singing along. Creative and original.

5 Skulls

The Beat of a Pale Wing:
I love the title 'The Beat of a Pale Wing'. It sounds so beautiful that it belies the horrors you encounter within the tale and lulls you into a bit of false security. I also loved the mix of mobsters with Lovecraftian horror.

4 Skulls

Tiny Lives:
The title 'Tiny Lives' works on two different levels. On the one hand there's the 'tiny lives' that the creator is breathing life into with machinated parts. Then on the other there are the 'tiny lives' in his charge that he's trying to protect. A great story.

5 Skulls

Roll the Bones:
A chance meeting between two strangers and a homeless teen could change the fate of the world. Or just might change the young man's luck for good. It all depends on a Roll of the Bones.
Another great story. I love the descriptions and the interplay between the characters was a bit humorous and left me wanting to spend more time with them.

5 Skulls

Old Promise, New Blood:
A bit of a different spin on the 'Deal with the Devil' trope. There's always a deal. And there's always a price. But sometimes, what is paid is worth what you earn. I liked this story as well. Old Promise, New Blood did the trope well and the emotions are fully felt.

4 Skulls

All the Wealth in the World:
How much would you pay to buy a little time? Or lose a little time? What would the final cost be? Not in money but your sanity?
Another story that feels familiar but comfortable but with a surprising and uncomfortable ending.

3 Skulls

In the Name of the Father:
A priest in a rural area can really reach a community. In the name of his Father.
Dark and grim it catches the attention but I think it could have been fleshed out a bit more.

3 Skulls

Fear is the Sin:
A play with dubious morality. Fear is the Sin would not be out of place as a King in Yellow tale. It definitely has that vibe to it. Creepy and a tad surreal.

4 Skulls

The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner:
Besides Crow Shine this is one of my favorite stories in the collection. a little 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' with a dollop of 'The Flying Dutchman' and a dash of Lovecraft. Well told from the point of view of a cabin boy aboard one of the most ruthless pirate ships on the seas.

5 Skulls

The Darkest Shade of Grey:
A drunk, down-on-his-luck reporter with a special gift for 'seeing' stumbles into a story far larger than even he can imagine.
I really, really wanted to love this story. But, unfortunately the main character and I just didn't get along. I would start getting pulled into the story then get taken out because I really wanted to tell him to quit being a whiny ass and straighten his shit up. I'm just a little tired of the 'psychic with substance abuse issues' trope. To give Mr. Baxter complete credit as an author and storyteller it kept sucking me back in. I just had to see where it was going to go. If I had to suggest anything it's the the story could use a title change. It's very close to another book (you know of what I speak) and The Darkest Shade of Grey is leagues beyond That Book.

3 Skulls

A Strong Urge to Fly:
A young man trying to break the apron strings falls into unexpected difficulties at his boarding house with his cat-loving landlady.
This story started out a bit 'meh' for me. There was a part near the end that really snapped me to because it was sudden, a bit shocking and a bit brutal. I did love the end. It had a very 'Tales from the Crypt' feel to it. "A purr-fect ending, wouldn't you say, kiddies?"

3 Skulls

Reaching for Ruins:
Some plants thrive on love and care. Other plants require different nutrients.
I liked this because, hey, who doesn't love creepy plants? My only problem with it was the ending was a bit muddled and it wasn't really clear what would happen afterwards.

3 Skulls

Shadows of the Lonely Dead:
I loved Shadows of the Lonely Dead so, so much. It was beautifully written with an awesome ending that took me by surprise and left me smiling. Two characters that I would like to know better.

5 Skulls

Punishment of the Sun:
I wasn't too crazy about this one. Near the end you figure out what the 'monster' is but not really why it's happening. I have to admit, I like reasons for what's going on a lot of the time. Especially since this one sort of left it hanging a bit.

3 Skulls

The Fathomed Wreck to See:
'The Fathomed Wreck to See' is an awesome title but the story didn't really grab me. Other readers might like it better though because it was a reader/character disconnect for me. It tries to make the main character, Dylan, seem like the choices he makes are unselfish and to spare his wife pain. To me he seemed selfish all the way through. I wanted to know his wife better. She seemed very interesting and an awesome character. It's kind of a shame the story wasn't focused on her more.

2 Skulls

Not the Worst of Sins:
A cowboy in his older teens (would that be a cowteen instead of a cowboy?) travels with a ghostly companion. The boy looking for revenge on a father he never knew. A father who left his mother a broken and shattered woman. His ghostly companion is looking for revenge of a different sort. Or is he?
Started out strong but the ending left me a bit confused as to what would happen next and what the ghost's actual purpose was.

3 Skulls

The Old Magic:
An old, very old, woman reflects back on her life. Her life, loves, children and The Old Magic she has passed down to her daughters through the centuries.
I've always loved these kinds of stories. It's not an uncommon theme but it's all in how the storyteller weaves the tale and Alan Baxter does it well.

4 Skulls

Mephisto:
A traveling magician's tricks may be more real than the audience expects.
Similar to a piece of flash fiction it is a very short story. Generally I'm not too crazy about such short pieces. They're usually small vignettes and a lot of people can write a captivating few pages . Mephisto is better written than most but still rather short with no real explanation.

3 Skulls

The Darkness in Clara:
Michelle mourns the death of her lover, Clara. Michelle travels to Clara's hometown to try to puzzle out the meaning of a mysterious note that Clara left behind. Once she gets there she realizes behind the small-town bigotry a deeper evil lurks. One that may not have ended with Clara's death.
I loved this story so much. Michelle and her son's grief rings very true and Michelle's desire to know what happened to Clara when she was younger is very natural. The small-town bigotry is also done well. By that I mean that it is varied. Some people are asses about it but there are some genuinely nice people in the town. It's not often that small towns are shown in a fair light when it comes to being open-minded. It is also implied that it's not just homophobia that is responsible for the actions of a few of the townspeople. The ending was wrapped perfectly and it's a perfect story to end the book on.

5 Skulls

I would strongly recommend Crow Shine by Alan Baxter. It's a good, solid collection with not a story to be ashamed of. Even the ones that I didn't care for personally is just my opinion. The writing wasn't flawed and someone else might love them.
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 Poe-esque, bite-sized stories that make up an engaging collection of macabre 2017/1/17
投稿者 Jacki - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック
Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes dark fantasy, horror and sci-fi. His collection of short stories, Crow Shine, is light on the sci-fi but certainly allows his skills in writing dark macabre to come to the fore. From clawing death, to angelic interlopers through time-twisting magic and the secrets of good moonshine, the collection is, as one would expect of an award-winning short-story writer, tight compact and engaging.

Engaging, but at times very uncomfortable. The stories are, like all good horror, full of demons and dark forces, enticing, beguiling and consuming poor humans who are all too ready to succumb to the forces of evil for a reward. Yet, reading each one of the nineteen offerings, you cannot help but see the underlying messages, the deeper stories and the uncomfortable questions being asked.

The love of a grandfather and his addictions, the pleading of a daughter for her quickly waning father. The sacrifice of a husband to save the suffering of a wife, the angst of a country town teen, turned to anger and vengeance. They and more are wrapped in stories that, whilst none are in verse, are most definitely Poe-esque in terms of shade and subject. They delve into the deeper psyche of the human condition and just when you thought all the world was lost, offer some quite blinding moments of hope and joy.
“Where there is any vestige of love, there is hope,” says one of an angelic host to a particularly battered character in ‘The Darkest Shade of Grey’ and in that simple phrase, you could be forgiven for thinking our protagonist’s fortunes are about to come good. Yet, Baxter isn’t that much into happy endings and can’t resist, in the final line of that story, to offer his readers the chance that the character will completely screw things up again.

Dark and mysterious for the most part then, but with odd shafts of light to offer hope, the collection also contains humour and I did love the prospect of visiting Beston-on-Sea. A town that puts a whole new spin on that dreaded of British institutions, the seaside B&B. Although for cat lovers, you’d be in your element.

Overall, I can’t pick a favourite story as I enjoyed each for its own journey, but the closing paragraphs of the last in the book, ‘The Darkness in Clara’ did have me cheering inside and proved that, despite his love for the ‘horrible’, occasionally the author can be swayed to let good win out.

To wrap up, I’ll admit it has been a while since I read a collection of short stories, but Crow Shine has renewed my interest in them. It is definitely a bonus to be able to dip in and out of a book, in small bite-sized pieces that leave you satisfied in their completeness. So, if you are into your reading being a bit dark and scary, with a gravitas that will make you consider the deeper motivations in life, then this is a collection you should definitely have a look at.
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 A memorable collection. 2016/12/2
投稿者 Adrian Shotbolt - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版
I am a bit of a newcomer to the writings of Alan Baxter. I have come across his short stories in a couple of anthologies through Cohesion Press and I really enjoyed his novel ‘Bound’ featuring martial arts magician Alex Cane. ‘Crow Shine’ is a vast collection of speculative treats right out of the top draw.

I have often said that there are writers and there are storytellers. In my eyes a storyteller drags you into their world and takes you on a literary journey to another place where you can forget everything else that is happening in your life and instead spend some time in somebody else’s, where as a writer spins a good tale, but the words can seem empty and don’t quite give you the feels. Alan Baxter is a storyteller and I became lost in these wonderful stories. I enjoyed this collection for a number of reasons. The first one being Baxter’s writing, which is effortless to digest. Baxter creates three-dimensional characters who often have to make difficult choices in life, whether it be the man who breathes life into his toy creations at the expense of his own health or the journalist that uses a Ouija Board one night and has to deal with the consequences in the excellent novella length piece ‘The Darkest Shade of Grey’. They all have decisions to make, often resulting in life or death consequences. ‘Crow Shine’ features many stories, all varying in length and whilst most are quite short, Baxter manages to effortlessly pull you into the story with his powerful and thoughtful storytelling. Some of these stories deal with the fantastic, magic both light and dark play a large part in his storytelling. Whilst it is safe to say I loved all of them it is the final story ‘The Darkness In Clara’ that truly felt like a cocktail of everything that is great about Baxter’s writing and the book in general, I’d say it is probably my favourite. It has some horror moments, with a little Lovecraftian influence, and it’s once again a thoughtful and emotional story featuring dark magic all mixed together in a fantastic narrative and it’s a great way to end the collection on a high. There is a tremendous variety of stories on offer and this is where Baxter plays his trump card. You never know which direction the next story will take you, such is the diversity on offer.

Alan signs off the book with a short piece about his love of dark fiction and why he chooses to write it and It’s a great way to finish things off. I don’t often read books a second time, perhaps some of the classics by King, McCammon but I will definitely be visiting ‘Crow Shine’ again. The stories have an everlasting quality to them that I feel won’t dim over time and there are 19 of them to get through! This is the best single-author collection I have read for quite some time so more please Mr Baxter.
5つ星のうち 5.0 A Very Fine Collection of Short Horror 2017/3/13
投稿者 James Milton - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版
Alan Baxter's anthology "Crow Shine" has recently been nominated for an Aurealis award for best collection, and when you read it it's easy to see why. It's a bloody good read, start to finish.

There are nineteen stories from the dark end of the speculative fiction genre, mostly horror, but with a smattering of weird and urban and dark fantasy. Character, time period, geographical setting, and supernatural element are richly varied, so no mid-anthology ennui here. Indeed, the collection starts well and only gets better as it proceeds.

For my money, the closest thing to a weak story is "Punishment of the Sun," which, while engaging, I felt lacked clarity in its underlying events. But it's still a pretty high low, and its surrounded by gems.

"Tiny Lives" is such a pristine and moving example of shorter short fiction that I read it several times to see what I could learn from it about writing. "The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner" is a brilliant eldritch pirate story, originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and a highlight. "Darkest Shade of Grey" is like a lost episode of Kolchak: the Night Stalker, but with extra added humanity. "A Strong Urge to Fly" is pure Tales of the Unexpected, with some beautiful, atmospheric prose in the descriptions of the town of Beston-on-Sea. "The Old Magic" is a moving story of longevity and power. Among these highs, the final story, "The Darkness in Clara," in which a woman struggles to make sense of her partner's death, still manages to stand out as exceptional. Again, moving and humane, with a point to be made about how we harm each other and ourselves.

A great collection, highly recommended.
5つ星のうち 5.0 A wonderful collection of dark fiction 2017/1/27
投稿者 Frank Errington - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
Review copy

The first short story I ever read by Alan Baxter was "In Vaulted Halls Entombed" which featured a group of soldiers chasing terrorists into a cave in Afghanistan only to see them trapped by something their training never prepared them for. Since that time, I always get excited when I see his name attached to an anthology.

With Crow Shine, I don't have to wait for his next short story, I merely need to turn the page. Nineteen wondrous, magical shorts. Some new for this collection, but many published before. They were all new to me, making this work all the more enjoyable.

Crow Shine - The title story is that of a legendary bluesman, his special shine, and his grandson who takes it all in. Great storytelling.

The Beat of a Pale Wing - A chilling story of the mob...and magic.

Tiny Lives - A charmingly original tale of an old man who can breath life into clockwork animals...at a price.

Role the Bones - Luck and Chance, what's the difference? And are you willing to roll the bones?

Old Promise, New Blood - The age old story of what happens when a deal with the devil comes due.

All the Wealth In the World - How cool would it be it you could buy time?

In the Name of the Father - A sensational story of a young Priest in the Outback, although he's not exactly what he seems.

Fear Is the Sin - A beautiful, lyrical story of a theatre troupe and their controversial sensual performance.

The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner - This is the result of a mashup between a swashbuckling tale of piracy on the high seas and H.P. Lovecraft.

The Darkest Shade of Grey - My favorite story in the collection and one of the best shorts I've read in recent memory. He was supposed to be the rough, tough, take no shit reporter, getting to the bottom of everything. All he ever got to the bottom of lately was a bottle, and then he started right over at the top of the next one. This was one of the longer stories in the collection and when it was over, I still wanted more.

A Strong Urge to Fly - A clever tale I found to be both charming and creepy. Could easily be subtitled Mrs. Oates' House of Cats and Contradictions.

Reaching for Ruins - What can you do when the plants run amok?

Shadows of the Lonely Dead - Intelligent horror and another terrific tale.

Punishment of the Sun - As a reader, I never quite learned what was going on in this story, but that didn't make it any less creepy.

The Fathomed Wreck to See - The tale of a siren and choices.

Not the Worst of Sins - If there's a moral to be found in this story of vengeance in the wild, wild west, it's never trust a ghost.

The Old Magic - The perils of an extraordinarily long life.

Mephisto - A short yet powerful story of a legendary magician.

The Darkness In Clara - When Michelle's lover commits suicide, she returns to the town where Clara was raised, looking for answers. A wonderful story to finish this collection.

All of the stories contained in this body of work are inventive, original, and above all entertaining. Each tale has it's own unique voice. If I didn't know they were all written by Alan Baxter I would think this was an anthology instead of a collection.

Totally recommended,

Crow Shine is available from Ticonderoga Publications in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats.

From the author's bio - Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes dark fantasy, horror and sci-fi, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. Alan lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dog and cat.
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