Jamie Marriage

Jamie Marriage is an internationally published Australian cyberpunk author with a taste for the dangerous and obscene aspects of life. His work ranges from the sarcastic to the satirical. Links to his work can be found at www.JamieMarriage.com.

gibson_trigger-warningTrigger Warning; it’s a phrase that carries with it a freight-train of emotional baggage. A physical manifestation of the term would not be dissimilar to a road-sign, glimpsed in the dark of a stormy night, reading “Treacherous Roads Ahead”. And in this newest collection of short stories by renowned British author, Neil Gaiman, the title is all too apt.

Gaiman’s collection is many things: it’s stories of bite-sized lengths that conjure brief glimpses of other times or worlds; continuations of long held narratives that deserve one last visit; standalone tales of truth and fantasy; and, as the title warns, deep and darker elements.

As a tome,Trigger Warning is a strange yet poignant collection of works by a man who has made it his life to get under the reader’s skin. And while every piece is distinct from every other, somehow, with true Gaiman style, the pieces fit together as one wondrous whole of lyrical poetry, vast sadness, and shy beauty.

The introduction itself is a lengthy and evocative description on the notion of Triggers, of those things that set off long buried fears, and serve as an unspoken agreement that to continue reading is with knowledge that the road you travel is risky, and that you have been warned.

Gaiman goes on to break down the backstory of each piece, describing the trigger that set the author to write each story and poem. These are worth reading either before or after the work itself.

A few of the stories that stand out the most must include The Thing About Cassandra–a twisted tale highlighting the dangers of imagination, and how the things we create can be more real than we could imagine.

A Calendar of Tales is a collection of flash fiction told under the headings of months. No story here is longer than a couple of pages but each has depth and hints at worlds fleetingly glimpsed through windows.

Nothing O’Clock is an episode of Doctor Who that never was to be. A humorous, if dark, incident in which the human race is being wiped from existence by its own greed.

And finally Black Dog, a title that fills those who have gone through depression, or those who have known those who do, with chills. This final tale continues the legacy of Shadow from Gaiman’s earlier novel American Gods. Shadow is waylaid in a quiet English town that is haunted by a dark spectre that is both an illness and a myth.

Trigger Warning is honest with its title; there is much to be cautious about in this book. There are some happy endings, some not so happy, and a few that are bound to induce fear, sadness, or revulsion.

All great literature strives to evoke reaction; Neil Gaiman has just done the gentlemanly thing by being honest about what you are getting yourself into when you turn the page.

 

Krista McKeeth

Krista McKeeth is a blogger and reviewer from Utah. Visit her website.

coe-spellBook #1 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson; new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective hunts a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a private investigator on the trail of a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona. Justis is also a weremyste;a person with a wizard’s gifts and the ability to see into the paranormal world.

Unfortunately, weremystes also tend to go crazy on the full moon, which is why Justis is no longer a cop: hard to explain those absences as anything but mental breakdown. But now an old case from his police detective days has come back to haunt him, literally, as a serial killer known as the Blind Angel strikes again. His signature stroke: burning out the victims eyes with magic. Now the victims are piling up, including the daughter of a senator, and Justis must race to stop the Blind Angel before he, she, or it, kills again. There’s only one clue he’s got to go on: the Blind Angel is using the most powerful magic Justis has ever encountered, and if he doesn’t watch his own magical step, he may end up just as dead as the other vics.

Justis is a P.I. living from paycheck to paycheck. Then his old cop partner Kona calls and tells him that she believes that the serial killer “The Blind Angel” has returned. She asks him to come and look for magic surrounding the crime scene. Since Justis is no longer employed by the police department, he is hired as a PI separately by the senator’s family, to look into their daughter’s life.There’s a connection between the death and a new drug that is out called Spark.

Justis begins by tracing down the dealers and sellers of the drug to find out more about how the senator’s daughter was living at the time she died. He’s is aided by a shaman (Ghost) who guides him. However, the ghost cannot see a lot of things–especially with regard to Justis’ future–and becomes more of a moral support, keeping him on track with his training to perform harder and more powerful magic.

David Coe’s writing is not as procedural as a hard boiled detective novel would be; it conveys a more relaxed feel around the investigation but adds in more suspense through the magical side of the story and the world of weremyste and runemyste.

I found this story to be really interesting–the world building and details the author goes into regarding how the magic works; and the different supernatural worlds that overlap with the human world. The introduction of the drug Spark added another dimension.  Though I thought that the narrative was going to be predictable, surprises popped up along the way, keeping me intrigued.

It’s a book I’d recommend to fans of James Swain and am happy to have lost myself in it for a couple of days. If you enjoy magical worlds and murder mystery with a twist, give this one a go!

 

Hi Everyone! I’ve had so many emails about the next Marianne Delacourt book (Tara Sharp #4) that I thought you should know where things are at. Allen and Unwin won’t be publishing it, so if I don’t have a new publisher by the end of the year (I am in talks with a great indie press – fingers crossed!), I PROMISE I will self-publish it in December in time for your Xmas stockings!! It will most likely be in e-book format only, but I will explore paperback options as well.

I’ve changed the title from Too Sharp to Sharp Edge, and you can see the mock up of the potential cover here.

TS_Sharp Edge (2)

 

The next novel is set back in Perth and your favourite bikie, Bon Ames, gets Tara into deep, dangerous trouble! Things are also hotting up between Nick Tozzi and Ed.

In other news, my original SF screenplay – STALKING DAYLIGHT –  has been through nearly two drafts and I’m starting to look for opportunities to further hone it. It’s currently in an AWG competition to get further script editing. I’ve just had some very positive feedback on it, so I hope it has legs.

Book 2 of the PEACEMAKER series (SF, western, crime, urban fantasy) will be out in October 2015. The name will change (currently DEALBREAKER), and a cover will be ready shortly. I’ll share as soon as I can. Can’t wait to see what Joey HiFi does this time! In book 2 Virgin is working for GJIC – global intelligence – and the Mythos action is hotting up. She’s nursing some very hurt feelings about Heart’s betrayal, Hamish is acting weird, and Caro has some bad news. A lot is happening in the Western Quarter!! Not to mention that Sixkiller is his usual infuriating self.

The SF novella I’m writing for my MPhil is underway and is literary SF. That will be finished next year.

There are also two short stories on the horizon. One SF far future set in the Sentients of Orion universe and based on a dream I had – nearly finished. The other is a newly finished YA story that is very dark.

 

 

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

 

 

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