Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost
Gregory Frost graduated from Clarion Workshop, authored five novels and the critically-acclaimed short story collection Attack of the Jazz Giants & Other Stories, and has been a finalist for nearly every major award in the fantasy field including the Hugo, the Nebula, the James Tiptree, and the World Fantasy Award.
Impressive, but what did I think of Shadowbridge? Well, for the most part I enjoyed reading Shadowbridge and while I may have liked the novel, I can’t say that I loved it.
It was the concept that really grabbed my attention. Gregory Frost’s book introduces a world that is comprised mainly of ocean and the Shadowbridge, a seemingly never-ending bridge that is divided into numerous spirals an... Read More
Gregory Frost(1951- )
Gregory Frost teaches writing at Swarthmore College in PA, at Write By The Lake in Madison, WI, and at various writers’ conferences. He has participated in writing workshops with Judith Berman, Ann Tonsor Zeddies, Karen Joy Fowler, John Kessel, James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, Jonathan Lethem, and Nalo Hopkinson. Here’s Gregory Frost’s website.
Shadowbridge — (2008) Publisher: Sprung from a timeless dream, Shadowbridge is a world of linked spans arching high above glittering seas. It is a world of parading ghosts, inscrutable gods, and dangerous magic. Most of all, it is a world of stories. No one knows those stories better than Leodora, a young shadow-puppeteer who travels Shadowbridge collecting the intertwining tales and myths of each place she passes through, then retells them in performances whose genius has begun to attract fame … and less welcome attention. For Leodora is fleeing a violent past, as are her two companions: her manager, Soter, an elderly drunkard who also served Ledora’s father, the legendary puppeteer Bardsham; and Diverus, her musical accompanist, a young man who has been blessed, and perhaps cursed, by the touch of a nameless god. Now, as the strands of a destiny she did not choose begin to tighten around her, Leodora is about to cross the most perilous bridge of all–the one leading from the past to the future.
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Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost
Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost
"One of the figures, in a long coat, leaned around from the back edge and held up a disk as if about to hand it to her. It looked like a shell strung on a necklace that, instead of circling his throat, plugged into his ears. What could that possibly be? And what legend could it be from?
The next figure above him didn’t help her, either. Painted black, with spiked blue hair, sharp-tipped ears and red eyes like flames, the figure’s identity eluded her, too."
In the first chapter of Gregory Frost’s Shadowbridge, a god animates a statue to talk to Leodora. Leodora is a wanderer, a storyteller, a collector of stories and a shadow-puppeteer who performs in male guise as she journeys along the various spans of Shadowbridge. The world of Shadowbridge itself is the greatest creation in this book.
The bridge is the world, basically, a series of spirals ... Read More
Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost
Creatively Shadowbridge is a marvelous work of invention, embodied by the imaginative Shadowbridge setting — a world of linked spiraling spans of bridges on which all impossibilities can happen — the intriguing art of shadow play, and the many enchanting tales and fables that are interwoven into the main narrative. Yet because of issues that I had with not being able to emotionally connect with the characters, worldbuilding that I felt could have been more penetrating, uneven pacing and narrative structure, and an unsatisfying cliffhanger, my feelings for the novel were mixed. Alas, reading Lord Tophet did not make me appreciate Shadowbridge any more than I already did, but the duology’s conclusion is a far better novel than its predecessor.
Upon finishing Read More
Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost
A widower, with a little help from his cold-hearted new wife, has fallen under the spell of Elias Fitcher, an apocalyptic preacher who predicts the world will end within the year. Packing up all his earthly belongings, and his three daughters — romantic Vernelia, neurotic Amy, and practical, skeptical Kate — he and his wife move to a tiny village in upstate New York to await the end of days. There, the charming, charismatic, and utterly horrifying Fitcher takes a shine to Vernelia, and sweeps her off her feet in a whirlwind courtship.
It says on the very cover that it's a Bluebeard story, so I'm not spoiling much to say that Vernelia goes mysteriously missing, and Fitcher then marries Amy. When Amy, too, vanishes, it's up to Kate to find out what has happened and stop Fitcher's horrible spree. There's a storm brewing, of course, and the plot goes from atmospherically creepy to nail-biting as t... Read More
The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
The Faery Reel is an indispensable tome for anyone who has a mania for faeries. Aside from the short stories in this anthology, the comprehensive introduction of Terri Windling on the fey and the illustrations by Charles Vess are worth the price of admission in themselves. Moreover, the last few pages feature a Further Reading section on the topic of faeries. The typography of the book is appropriate to the faery theme and makes the text quite readable. In other words, it's a really pretty book.
But The Faery Reel isn't just about exterior beauty, and I'd still buy the book if only for the story selections and the poetry. There are actually a lot of stories I liked in this anthology, and choosing a select few to talk about is quite difficult: "Catnyp" by Read More
Horrible Monday continues its look at nominees for the Shirley Jackson Awards. If you find something horribly good to read, maybe Monday won't seem so horrifying!
Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow
Ellen Datlow suggests in her introduction to Supernatural Noir that noir fiction and supernatural fiction, with its roots in the gothic, have a lot in common. The main character in each tends to be a hard-living guy, usually down to his last flask of scotch, haunted by a sexy dame whose middle name is trouble. So it seemed natural to her to combine the two genres for an original anthology.
Despite my general rule that any anthology edited by Ellen Datlow is one I want to read, I resisted this one for a long time. Detectives looking for ghosts? Eh. Not my thi... Read More
Crimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn — (1985-1998) Publisher: “I see you all crimson… I see you all red.” So warns the faery seer of Cruachan. It is a warning no one will heed, because only one thing stands between the army of Maeve the Intoxicator and its goal: a small young warrior named Setanta. Maeve, with all her cunning, sees no problem in dispatching him. But Setanta is no normal defender. His father is a god, who has given him a monstrous power and a magical spear. Alone against all odds and all comers, he fights as strange a war as has ever been undertaken — in the narrows of every stream the army must cross. But beware, Setanta. The faery’s warning is for you, too. Defeating the lustful Maeve may have unexpected, lethal consequences…
Lyrec — (1984) Publisher: LYREC & BORREGAD — Just a Man and a Cat… from Another Universe. Lovelorn Lyrec and wise-cracking Borregad have been companions through world after world, adventure after adventure. They seek Lyrec’s lost lady, and vengeance for the obliteration of their homeworld. But the evil Miradomon is always one step ahead, leaving a dark trail of destruction behind him. Crossing a chain of parallel universes, our heroes must take on new identities in each new world. In his latest incarnation, Lyrec has done quite well for himself. He is young, strong, handsome, skilled in the arts of war and song. Poor Borregad blew it. He’s stuck in the body of a cat. And Miradomon? This time, he’s a god.
The Pure Cold Light — (1993) Publisher: Guerrilla activist and rebel journalist Thomasina Lyell discovers a destructive, mind-shattering power that threatens the future of humankind and will stop at nothing to reveal it to the world.
Crimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn — (1998) Publisher: I see you all crimson… I see you all red.”" So warns the faery seer of Cruachan. It is a warning no one will heed, because only on thing stands between the army of Maeve the Intoxicator and its goal: a small young warrior named Setanta. Maeve, with all her cunning, sees no problem in dispatching him. But Setanta is no normal defender. His father is a god, who has given him a monstrous power and a magical spear. Alone against all odds and all comers, he fights as strange a war as was ever undertaken – in the narrows of every stream the army must cross. But beware, Setanta. The faery’s warning is for you, too. Defeating the lustful Maeve may have unexpected, lethal consequences. ”Crimson Spear: The Blood of CÚ Chulainn “comprises two previously published novels — “Tain” and “Remscela.” The two books derive from the Ulster Cycle of Celtic mythology, known also as the “Tá in Bó Cuailnge “(tahn bo koo al’ nyah). It is the story of a cattle raid upon Ulster Provinceperpetrated by the royal couple of Connacht, its neighbor, and defense of the province by its semi-divine hero CÚ Chulainn.
Attack of the Jazz Giants: And Other Stories — (2005) Publisher: This collection of 14 stories from a Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree, International Horror Guild, and World Fantasy Award finalist takes the reader on a wonderful and nightmarish journey. Beginning with a midnight odyssey to a shadowland where vehicles feast on vagrants, this compilation includes stories in which Poe’s final days are revealed, factory workers are exploited by an apparition of the Virgin Mary, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart pinwheels through the corridors of time. Also included is a tale of an apocalyptic entity that hides in a Ukranian village, a contemplation on the horror that dwells in Jack the Ripper’s pocket watch, and a brand-new novella that combines an interplanetary road story with more than a dash of Flash Gordon. Behind-the-stories notes by the author are also included.