Friday, September 11, 2015
First Seas and Other Tales (Frank Schildiner, Pro Se Productions, 2014)
First Seas is not a book that can be put easily in any genre, unless you want to count the short story as a genre in and of itself. This book contains horror, superheroes, gangsters, Roman legionnaires, bikers, angels, demons, and above all -- and if there's a through-line through the book, it's this -- the triumph of Good over Evil - not by dint of being Good in and of itself, but through discipline and hard work. I imagine this might be some of Frank's background in martial arts shining through in his writing.
With the variety of stories on display here, there's definitely something for everyone's tastes, and I think a lot of these stories will appeal across the board. My personal favorites from the collection are "Hammer of Charun" and "Big Ol' Scorpion," but frankly, they're all good.
The biggest thing I got out of this collection is how much each story felt like the first chapter of a longer tale - and how much I want to read those longer tales! Even the stories that didn't end on a direct cliffhanger, left me desperate to know what happened next to the characters. Every story just felt so rich, the world painted in words so vibrant that it just comes to life in the mind's eye in a way that so much fiction doesn't.
Suffice to say, I'm eagerly hoping some of these get expanded in the future into full novels, or at least novellas. And I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Frank's work! You can pick up First Seas and Other Tales from Amazon here, or from CreateSpace here.