Simone – André Brun

André Brun must be some kind of masochist. The author of Lies and Deception (to be published by Inkshares some time next year), knowing the difficulty of crowdfunding a book, has gone back for more on multiple occasions.

For the currently-running horror contest, he’s entered a book of connected short stories, Arcadia, the first of which he sent me for review.

Simone is very short, and in a pretty rough state, but what it lacks in polish doesn’t detract from the content of the tale.

Secret cults, monsters, and true fear creep into the periphery, seeding curiosity in the reader about what’s to come in the stories that follow.

Though it might frustrate some readers, there’s a moment in Simone that I found greatly appealing. The character—presumably Simone—states that, while she was traveling, she came upon a pillar in a jungle cave.

There’s something delightful about not knowing the details there. The omission builds character. Simone, in the telling of her tale, doesn’t think that her being alone in the jungle at seventeen is important to the story; it’s just a detail that informs the listener of time and place.

Thing is, there has to be a story about why she was in the jungle at such a young age, alone, seeking shelter in a cave. It could be a story all on its own. But she glosses over it.
That simple absence of detail reminds me of stories from the golden age of science fiction, stories that opted for dense statements that can span millennia as opposed to the modern world of genre fiction, which is detail-oriented and strives to break presses worth strength of word count alone.

Though Arcadia will no doubt need polish, the substance is there. I look forward to reading it someday, whether it’s a winner in the contest or otherwise.


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