PS Showcase #5: Impossibilia
Jacketed Hardcover, 96 pages 10GBP/$16
Review by Kent Knopp-Schwyn
Aptly named, Impossiblila introduces the reader to Douglas Smith’s magical reality where the impossible is readily accepted as normal. A brief introduction by Chaz Brenchly praises Douglas Smith’s range and focus and the three letter perfect stories behind the expressionist cover art admirably display Mr. Smith’s considerably creativity.
“Spirit Dance,” the collection’s only reprint, is an excellent opener to the author’s ability to place the possible and impossible side by side to excellent effect in an action packed story. “Spirit Dance” looks at how were-beasts stay under the radar in a today’s modern, electronic eavesdropping world and what were-beasts do when not in beast form.
“Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gough” is a beautiful and haunting tale of love, loss and remote viewing. In it, we meet Laure, a damaged beauty able to remotely view historical figures by forming as strong an emotional link through the work and artifacts they left behind. Her ability and her need for physical and emotional protection rekindle both love and a similar remote viewing ability in Maroch. Years ago, Maroch lost the love of his life because, in his view, he could not focus his ability well enough to perceive events before they unfolded tragically. Together these two discover a fragile new love as they search for hidden artistic riches left behind by Vincent Van Gough. In the course of the narrative, they move together and then apart as a result of the combination of spectacular talents and difficult pasts. In the end Maroch must fast the question of whether or not the past can and should be changed for personal gain; by far, the strongest story of this short collection.
“Going Down to Lucky Town” shows that luck can be embodied in a single person, but instead of good luck, however, a single person can suck all the bad luck out of a room and leave everyone else around them lucky. And, as it turns out, this luck absorption ability is tied to an entity that feeds off the pain caused by continuous bad luck. This tale follows, Charlie, a gambler who inherits the entity and what happens to him and his estranged daughter after he beings to soak in bad luck and pain. This is a brief and enjoyable tale filled with broken and repaired familial ties bound together by a father’s love for his daughter.
PS Showcase series titles provide readers with outstanding samples of lesser known or relatively undiscovered new talent writing some of the best fantastical fiction today. Peter Crowther’s discerning eye ensures that the titles in this line provide brief, superlative explorations into new and unknown realms.