Sparks And Shadows
Lucy A. Snyder
Limited edition Trade Cover (300 signed copies), $18.95
Reviewed by Nickolas Cook
Gary Braunbeck, please don’t hit me, for I am a very happily married man, but …
Lucy Snyder! I have fallen in love with you!
At least your fiction.
Listen, people, I don’t want to oversell this collection of short stories, essay like observations, and poetry, but this has to be, hand’s down, the best collection I’ve read since Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts.
I know; I know….thems fightin’ words round these horror parts. After all, Hill’s collection came virtually out of nowhere to take the horror reading public by storm, proving that horror was a multifaceted entity that could perpetuate beauty as well as terror.
It is my hope that Lucy Snyder’s collection will propel her to the forefront of the genre in much the same way. If any writer I’ve read this year deserves it, it’s her. Her talent is huge. Her personal vision is solid and clear. Her voice is loud and strong.
Let me put Sparks And Shadows in perspective:
Dipping into this collection is like meeting the coolest Goth chick at the party and spending several magical hours at the local Denny’s, drinking coffee and comparing jaded, cynical world views, mixing in a liberal amount of passion for good things and good people, empathy for all the wrongs and evil inherent in the human race. It’s the same way I felt after reading Poppy Z. Brite, Skipp and Spector, Dan Simmons, and Caitlin Keirnan for the first time. There’s a passionate urgency to her words, a sly sexuality, a downright filthy come hither-ness (I mean that in a good way, by the way) to her stories. They’ll make you blush and laugh, fume and cry. Her stories are, at times, unrelenting, fiery, and angry. At other times, she sways you into a state of serenity.
But at all times, she tells a damned good story.
Along the way Snyder gives us insight into the menstrual cycle (and, yes, it scared the crap out of me); shows us what love really means in a future world where only memory means anything; and opens her deepest heart to reveal personal fears and desires. Sparks And Shadows pulls no punches to make readers taste the sweat, blood and tears of what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world. There is no coyness here, no demure ladylike caution in laying down the frustration and venom, nor the lust and love.
Lucy Snyder does away with all that and breaks the taboos, tears down the walls between sexes, and, yes, she even made me cry. These tales brook no weakness. Almost every single one is empowerment incarnate.
Lucy Snyder means business, people. She is here to kick ass and take names.
Get this collection if you can. You will not regret getting in on the ground level of a writer who is most definitely destined for bigger things.
Sparks And Shadows is another fine selection from Horror World, a press that has again proven its ability to find greatness. Keep up the good work, guys.