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Rustblind and Silverbright

A Slipstream Anthology of Railway Stories

edited by David Rix

372 pages

Tallest Stories

Trains occupy a special place in the human psyche. The twin threads of the rails forge ahead from place to place, the ultimate symbol of travel and connection and all the hopes, fantasies, fears, reasons, romance and excitement that come with that.  The links between points, the bridges and tunnels, are always so much more profound than borders or walls.  And yet you travel these links through a world that is isolated from normal life and unique to itself.  The railways are so mundane and taken for granted, passing through the backs of your cities and towns, yet they are worlds that cannot be visited, cannot be known.  Worlds that can only be glimpsed from blurred windows or from the far end of the platform.  Hidden places.  Private places.  Places where the ordinary and the secret meet. 

This was the mood in which Rustblind and Silverbright came into being – a book of railway stories that aimed to look far beyond what you might expect from classic horror or sci-fi.  Like any good journey, the scenery of this book is ever-changing.  You will ride the rails of language and imagination through many and varied places – some almost unendurably disturbing, some bleak and miserable, some surreal and strange, some touching and moving, some absurd and comical, some exquisitely beautiful.  This is a collection that ranges widely from the almost-familiar double-track line of slipstream fiction to the grungy metro of sci-fi and the dark and sparsely served branch line of pure horror, while the squawking locomotives of absurdism jostle with still stranger trains that ride to – other places.

Please take a look at Rustblind's accompanying novella Moonshine Express here.

    - Contents:
Tetsudo Fan
  - Andrew Hook
On The Level
  - Allen Ashley
The Wandering Scent
  - Aliya Whiteley
To the Anhalt Station
  - John Howard
Death Trains Of Durdensk
  - Daniella Geary
Vivian Guppy and the Brighton Belle
  - Nina Allan
Last Train
  - Joel Lane
Writer's Block
  - Stephen Fowler
Northern Line Tube Announcement
  - Anon
The Path of Garden Forks
  - Rhys Hughes
District to Upminster
  - Marion Pitman
Wi-Fi Enabled
  - RD Hodkinson
Stratford International
  - D McGroarty
The Cuts
  - Danny Rhodes
Sleepers
  - Christopher Harman
Escape on a Train
  - Steve Rasnic Tem
Choice
  - Charles Wilkinson
Embankmen
  - Gavin Salisbury
Sunday Relatives
  - Douglas Thompson
The Engineered Soul
  - Jet McDonald
Didcotts
  - John Greenwood
The Keeper
  - Andrew Coulthard
Not All Trains Crash
  - Steven Pirie
The Turning Track
  - Rosanne Rabinowitz and Matt Joiner
    Shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award, 2014

This book may not be the ideal Christmas gift for a trainspotting old buffer (although it might be just the ticket if he or she has suitably open-minded, eclectic reading tastes).  But I think it could induce at least a modest portion of train-appreciation in the most vehement rail-deniers.  Reading this anthology I became convinced that every story should have a railway in it somewhere; it’s just that no one has realised this before. Try it out for yourself, but don’t forget to mind the gap.

Pauline Masurel - The New Short Review

Taking its title from a story by Wolfgang Borchert, this anthology is a shrine to the railway in all its manifestations and draws as much on the iconic status of these iron behemoths as on the collective psyche of railway buffs that worship them. There’s not a train spotter in sight and there are no pieces about the Orient Express, the Trans-Siberian railway or any of the world’s other great train lines but to my mind the anthology is all the better for it, looking beyond these clichéd images of railways at what makes them such lasting objects of fascination. Railways feature as subjects of obsession or in the form of a developing fanaticism into which the characters are slowly, sometimes unwillingly, drawn… …I found this a hugely enjoyable collection and whatever their individual merits, there’s a synchronicity which makes the stories ping off each other in a very satisfying way. David Rix has brought together a bunch of stylistically disparate stories and, though I have my favourites, I think the weaker are improved by their placement in the anthology. The stylistic excesses of several gave an astringent edge to the deadpan delivery of others.

Nick Jackson - Sein Und Werden

I dare say that Rustblind and Silverbright is the most versatile speculative fiction anthology of the year. Some of these stories are touching and beautiful while others are weird, shocking and disturbing, so there’s something for everybody in this anthology. This anthology will be of interest to both experienced readers and newcomers, because it contains diverse stories that have plenty of depth and atmosphere in them.

Sami Ariola - Rising Shadow

It’s difficult to pick a favourite amongst the collection, some are creepy, Death Trains of Durdensk is able to be touching and creepy concurrently with the idea of placing the dead on a train which just travels round the tracks, which is contrasted with outright romances or rites of passage. The collection is strongly edited and an excellent way of discovering the authors at the cutting edge of slipstream literature.

Charles Packer - Sci-fi-Oonline

The stories, interwoven with insightful commentaries by editor David Rix, offer a variety of atmospheres and situations, making the book a compelling and satisfying mix of reading material.

Mario Guslandi - SFRrevu

The renowned writer and reviewer D F Lewis has completed one of his legendary ‘Realtime Reviews” of Rustblind and Silverbright. Des was at the launch event itself, and seems to love the book, describing it in his ever-idiosyncratic style as “its own Holy Grailtrack”. He also says “This book no longer surprises me as one gem follows another, all skilfully chosen by the book’s over-arching force of creation…” Des’s technique is such that he (uniquely among reviewers) makes it almost impossible for me to paraphrase his review without giving undue weight to one story over another, so dear reader, you’ll just have to read his review in its entirety here. Suffice to say he enjoyed every story and predicts this will be rated as one of the best anthologies of the year. 

 

 

 

 

Rustblind and Silverbright is available in the following formats:

The Oz Suite

  • Hardcover: £23
  • Paperback: £9.99
Select Binding

 

 

 

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