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Alex Smith

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Andrew Salomon reviews ‘Weird Lies’ winner of 2014 Saboteur Award

Weird Lies2

I must confess that I love short story collections. And I must also admit that, more often than not, I’m disappointed by them. Of course literary tastes differ, but most short story fans are only too aware that with the majority of collections featuring stories by different writers, the stories are usually divided between two or three you think are great, a handful that are average, and the rest leave you cold. Weird Lies is a noteworthy exception to this division.

The Liar’s League is a monthly fiction night (originally from London and now also in New York, Hong Kong and Leicester) and it ‘brings together the best liars we can find – actors and authors – to tell great, brand new stories.’ Weird Lies represents a selection of Liar’s League’s finest sci-fi, fantasy and strange short stories.

When you know your story is going to be read out loud by an actual actor to a real, live audience, I’m sure you make certain to trim off anything superfluous that doesn’t directly contribute to the vigor of your story and while reading Weird Lies I got the sense that the writers whose stories made into this collection gave of their best.

Standouts include the humorous and harrowing ‘ChronoCrisis 300’ by Andrew Lloyd-Jones; Alex Smith’s sharp and no-nonsense ‘Icosi Bladed Scissors’; the bittersweet ‘Derby of Lost Souls’ by Barry McKinley; ‘Haiku Short, Parakeet Prawns, Konnichiwa Peter’ by David Malone is a potently bleak tale that offers a life-affirming glimmer; ‘Free Cake’ by Peng Shepard will bring cringeworthy recognition to any office slave; and there is rich and dangerous texture to the classical fairytale-styled ‘An Account of Six Poisonings’ by Nichol Wilmer.

There are twenty four stories in this collection and you can open it at any one of them and be in for a good read. To me this is the mark of an exceptional short story collection and Weird Lies is a worthy winner of the 2014 Saboteur Award for Best Anthology.

Here Ray Newe reads ChronoCrisis 3000 by Andrew Lloyd-Jones (from Weird Lies)
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Weird Lies is published by Arcahne Press, edited by Cherry Potts and Katy Darby.

Tokoloshe songAndrew Salomon is the author of the young adult novel, The Chrysalis. His first novel for adults, the fantasy thriller Tokoloshe Song will be released by Random House Umuzi in July 2014.
Sarah Lotz declares Tokoloshe Song a “fantastical, fantastic and fun read – highly recommended.” And I can definitely second that! It’s a sheer delight, a real adventure.


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