Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Corpus Pretereo - Edited by Patrick Jennings-Mapp & Alexandra J. Ash

Title: Corpus Pretereo
Author: Various (Edited by Patrick Jennings-Mapp & Alexandra J. Ash)
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Published: 2011
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:

“Corpus Pretereo” is an anthology of sixteen short stories by various different authors that span several different genres under the speculative fiction umbrella. This includes genres such as fantasy, horror and science-fiction with the overall subject of the stories being that of escape.

As is normal with anthologies such as this the stories are a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality and entertainment. For example, some of them are enthralling complete stories that provide well thought out endings whilst others just come across like an opening chapter in a much longer story. However, overall there was more than enough enjoyable stories contained here to make me feel that the anthology is well worth the price.

As there is such a large collection of stories in the collection I will not comment on all of the stories, but will pick a sample of both the positive and negative to give as balanced a review as I can. The Devil and Neil Armstrong: This clever and thoughtful story was probably my favourite story in the collection. It involves two concepts I find interesting, space exploration and time travel to create an interesting concept that had me contemplating the way in which the past influences the present.

The Carnival: Whilst I found this story to be very atmospheric and had me very intrigued, however it was let down by a terribly inclusive ending. This story more than any other struck me as being the opening chapter in a novella rather than it working as a satisfying standalone short story.

Crash: A superb dystopian story in which a group of children try to survive and find a place for themselves in a hostile world. Even with the stories’ short length, the author has managed create well developed and interesting characters that suck the reader in. This is supported by a strong narrative voice and interesting depth to the world. The ending was conclusive but I would still love to learn more about the characters and their world.

The Curl of the Wave: I found the writing to be perfect in evoking an entertaining and strong image of what the author was trying to portray. However, I think it was let down by a lack of characterisation that just made it hard to fully become engaged with the characters and therefore the story as a whole.

This is just a short taste of what the collection contains and there are further stories that I enjoyed and others that just didn’t appeal although as you can see from my comments above the negatives didn’t always necessarily ruin my interest in a story. However, overall I found that there were enough interesting, enjoyable and entertaining stories within the collection to make me more than happy to recommend it. So if you are a fan of speculative fiction and would like to sample the work of various authors that they may not normally read then this anthology more than fits the bill.