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Wonderful short story collection, something for everyone

By Linda Schoales, editor

Feb 6, 2009: “Nomesque” is a collection of short stories, mostly by one author. The stories range from hilarious fairy tales to gritty urban slices of life. There’s even a collection of fables, each complete with its own moral. There are stories about alien encounters, a light cyberpunk series, one about an unusual spirit guide, and another about a vengeful ghost. There’s a standalone story with a snake talking about the place his species had in the Garden of Eden. I meant to read a selection of them and ended up reading them all. There’s something for everyone. They’re all great in their own right, and together, they form a really interesting world view.

Most of the stories belong to one of several series, although the “Miscellaneous” set are standalone. Each series is very different in genre, style and tone, though most are set in modern, urban settings. Some stories are written in third person, some in first, and some switch perspectives between stories in the series. Some are very short pieces, not more than a screenful, while others are much longer. Most of the stories are clean, although a few are a bit naughty. One got fairly graphic. The author is clearly having a wonderful time exploring different worlds and ideas.

That’s one of the few common elements throughout these stories—the author is having a great time and wants the reader to join her. A lot of the stories are very funny, or at least absurd. Even the more serious ones have a dark humour to them. There are some great ideas in here, taken in really fun directions.

The characters feel real, despite the often bizarre situations they find themselves in. They’re ordinary people, trying to get along, hoping to meet someone to share the journey or at least a laugh. They’re memorable, even if you don’t spend much time with them. The author varied the language of the characters to suit the genre—for instance, the characters in the fairy tales “trilled” or gestured “grandiloquently”, while those in the modern Peter Pan series swore, drank and pissed against the wall. Each series created its own little separate world, with its own characters and its own rules.

The author has started linking the series, putting links in one story to both the next and the previous in the list, but hasn’t finished yet. However, the stories are also listed down the left of the web site so finding them is easy.

The short stories in the “Nomesque” collection are a great place to visit. The stories are very different, always interesting, and a lot of fun. I’m sure almost everyone can find something here to tickle their fancy, and give them something new to think about.

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