PANDEMONIUM: FIRE, ed by Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry,Â Jurassic London, ebook: Â£.80 http://www.pandemonium-fiction.com
Reviewed by Glen Mehn
This is a teeny e-chapbook which is a companion to the Dickensian anthology Pandemonium, Stories of the Smoke, consisting of three very short, completely unlinked stories.
Harry Markov’s “The Tracks that Tower over Valleys” takes us to a future Bulgaria which echoes Dickens’ age of uncertainty for the poor: The entire country has been turned into a theme park and the poor scratch out their living by trying to terrify tourists â€“ until real terrorists step in. Tom Loock’s “A Tale of Cities Two” is a meditation on linguistics and wordplay reimagines the first paragraph to Dickens’ classic, and will delight all those who love words and language. Osgood Vance’s “Sketches by Zob” is a must-read for those who love Dickens and a certain type of science fiction. It is surreal and defies description.
These three stories are short, and at 80 pence won’t break the bank by any means. They show a great breadth of imagination and mastery of the short form. This is an excellent companion to its sister anthology but stands alone as well.