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In Association with
Blind Swimmer
edited by David Rix
Eibonvale paperback �10

review by Mario Guslandi

Themed anthologies are becoming increasingly popular, so much so that editors' imaginations are constantly challenged by the need to find new, previously unheard of, subjects. I think that the first prize for originality should be awarded to the recently established but quite lively Eibonvale Press, the latest product of which is Blind Swimmer, an anthology devoted to the unusual and stimulating theme of creativity in isolation.

In other words, the volume features authors elaborating about the process of creation (mostly about fiction writing) and about the influence that solitude exerts on their literary output. The contributors include the various authors involved with Eibonvale Press: Nina Allan, Gerard Houarner, Rhys Hughes, Brendan Connell, David Rix, Allen Ashley, Jet McDonald, Douglas Thompson, Terry Grimwood, Alexander Zelenyj, and Andrew Coulthard. While all the stories are of fairly good quality, obviously your reviewer is entitled to have his own favourite tales and to mention them here.

The versatile Brendan Connell provides The Man Who Saw Grey, a bitter piece about a man suddenly deprived of his ability to see colours, thus drowned in a grey, horrible world. In The Higgins Technique, Terry Grimwood draws a dark tableau of the world of soft porn, where a wannabe writer is turned into an erotic model for trashy website instalments. David Rix's The Book Of Tides is a fascinating but puzzling tale portraying a writer, living in a lonely house by the sea, who's fond of collecting and classifying the debris brought in by the tide.

To me, the best story in the book is Nina Allan's Bellony, an insightful, intriguing investigation about the life of a woman writer and the secret behind her mysterious final disappearance. An extraordinary story graced by excellent storytelling ability. This is definitely an anthology worth reading from a promising publisher which deserves to be kept under close scrutiny in the future.

Blind Swimmer

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