Hardback 9780955526800 Paperback 9780955526879
Bird Songs at Eventide
The Vicar with Seven Rigs
A Thread of Truth
A Thread of Truth, first published in 2007 by Eibonvale Press, is a first collection of my short fiction and contains eight stories written between 2002 and 2006.
The book came about more or less by chance. The founder of Eibonvale Press, David Rix, contacted me because I happened to be one of the contributors to the 2004 anthology Strange Tales from Tartarus. David was looking into the possibility of producing a paperback edition of that anthology, which had just won a World Fantasy Award, and was seeking permission to reprint my story ‘Terminus.’ For one reason and another that project got stuck in the works, but his initial enquiry led to further correspondence, and in due course to David’s suggestion that I put together a collection for him.
My personal view of the short story collection is that it should be organic. Unless I’m buying the complete short stories of J. G. Ballard (or Lorrie Moore, or Vladimir Nabokov) the kind of collection I don’t like is the unwieldy and overstuffed volume packed full with every possible story a writer might have available for publication at that given time. As a reader that’s not what I want – and if that’s what I’m given there’s a chance I’ll feel so daunted by the prospect of slogging through such an undisciplined sprawl of (quite possibly) uneven material that I’ll never open it. As a reader, what I want from a collection is something like a snapshot – an insight into where the writer is and where they are going, right now, as the collection is published. When I chose the stories for A Thread of Truth, this was the kind of snapshot I sought to present.
The earliest story here is ‘Terminus’ – published in 2004, this was my first professional sale. ‘Queen South’ made the longlist for the Asham Award in 2005, ‘Bird Songs at Eventide’ was shortlisted for the BSFA Award in 2006. The other stories were all brand new – I completed ‘Heroes’ just a week or two before sending David the manuscript of the complete collection.
All these stories are special to me, because they stem from a time when I was just beginning to discover my identity as a writer, and more specifically as a writer of speculative fiction. If I were to name a favourite story in the collection it would probably be a toss-up between ‘Heroes’, because it was the newest thing I’d written at the time (and the work of mine I like the most is always whichever thing I’ve just finished writing) and ‘A Thread of Truth’ because it was one of those rare stories that was genuinely pleasurable to write. Especially the scene where the spider starts to emerge from the crack in the wall…
You can buy A Thread of Truth here.