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Feather

by David Rix

A Thread of Truth
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Who is Feather?

The wandering girl – the running girl. Fragmentary, oblique, a damaged product of innocence lost, on the run from a deprived childhood and eccentric domineering father. Unable to engage emotionally with all the lives she passes through, hurt, but always hoping, always moving on.

In these nine stories and novellas, David Rix weaves an enigmatic web of fictions, at the shifting intersections of Slipstream, Horror and Science Fiction. Feather lurks at the edges of some of these tales and erupts from the centre of others, but her presence and personality haunt them all, like some eerie melody played on an underwater violin.

Perhaps Feather is a symbol of something fundamentally human, an avatar for the collision of our common humanity with the insanely alien environment of the modern world. But don't expect answers. Ultimately, Feather is also the muse of David Rix himself, and in sharing her with him, you will come to savour the very act of questioning, and discover that strange world where mystery and innocence meet what we see as normal.

Read Excerpt

Contents (308 pages)

  • Forward: The Tiny Window on River Street
  • Yellow Eyes
  • The Angels
  • Touch Wood
  • Magpies
  • The Book of Tides
  • To Call the Sea
  • The Whispering Girl
  • Endword: The Sea Train

 

… David Rix’s writing style reminds me a bit of Clive Barker. He has the same kind of a sense of style and depth as Barker, and he’s capable of shocking his readers with psychologically and violently horrifying scenes, which reveal the almost animalistic behaviour of human beings (he isn’t as explicit as Barker, but he can shock his readers when he wants to and he does it skilfully). The dreamlike and a bit weird atmosphere also reminds me a bit of Clive Barker. There’s also a touch of Laird Barron’s sense of style in his stories…

…David Rix also has an uncanny sense of grotesqueness, which manifests itself in fascinating and unexpected ways. I have always loved grotesque and unsettling stories, so I was thrilled when I noticed that the author seems to be able to create an unsettling atmosphere with just a few paragraphs and carefully chosen words. This is one of the reasons why it’s possible that some readers may compare him to old masters like Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood and M. R. James…

- Sami Airola at Rising Shadow

…It’s the final stories, however, that are the crowning jewels and where David’s talent as a writer is on full display. Displaying a less cerebral style but still showcasing a sharp sting, this is dark and urban gothic at it best as we follow Tallis through the streets of LjubLjana. A tale of bleak and functional spaces – and one that might remind a reader of Gary McMahon or even the early stylizing of Clive Barker traversing the streets of Liverpool.

Overall, this is like one of the more magical books one might read in high-school, but bristling at the intersection of Horror and Slipstream. A strange metaphor for the authors character itself – and at turns mythic and seductive.”

- Matthew Tait,  Hellnotes 

…The author has a very visual and engaging prose style that drew me right in. A lot of the settings are quite bleak: isolated beaches, concrete jungle cityscapes, the loneliness of Dartmoor, or half-empty halls of residence occupied by dirty, impoverished art students, for instance. There’s a touch of melancholy about these places, yet the descriptions of them are vivid and realistic so there isn’t an off-putting atmosphere of gloom. Instead there’s always the feeling that something interesting is about to happen on the next page…

…But these stories portray the world as largely unknowable. Meaning seems elusive and perhaps even impossible to find, and it’s certainly futile to search for it. It’s almost like reading anti-stories. I found this interesting and frustrating in equal measure. Because what is fiction for if not to help us make sense of an irreducibly complex world? Of course we know that life can’t be broken down to a few simple themes and moral lessons, but doing exactly that is part of the charm of stories…

…Feather is a mind-boggle. I can’t decide whether David Rix is being really smart or just annoying when he plays with the concept of the search for understanding. However it’s an entertaining kind of boggling, and I warmed to the character of Feather with her scarred innocence and cheerful practicality, whilst the stories themselves are colourful, strange and surprising.”

- Ros Jackson at Warpcore SF

Author Biography

I spent most of my life so far in the small seaside town of Whitstable, which has left me with an enduring love of seafood and shingle. I spent three years attending something very like a certain Archers College, studying things that were not quite closest to my heart – leaving the really important stuff entirely self-taught, with the help of six bookcases full of remarkable literature. Time after that found me moving abroad to the sunny side of the alps, spending a year in Slovenia, overwintering in the remote mountains then oversummering in melancholy Ljubljana and enjoying the company of the pretty eastern European girls – with all aspects of the trip leaving an impression that will probably linger in my writing permanently.

My stories have appeared in the anthologies Strange Tales 1, 2 and 3 from Tartarus Press, Blind Swimmer from Eibonvale Press and most recently, in The Monster Book for Girls from Exaggerated Press. The surreal art-fable What the Giants Were Saying – the first appearance of the wandering girl Feather – was published by Eibonvale Press back in 2005, receiving comparisons with Clive Barker and J. G. Ballard.

Feather is available in the following formats:

The Oz Suite

Hardcover: £19.75

Paperback £8.99

Kindle: £3.20

Physical Books
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