Reviews

Reviews for Gifts for the One Who Comes After

“Marshall exhibits a bracing refusal to play to expectations, taking left turns where others would travel a straight line. It’s one thing to make the strange appear familiar; Marshall’s true gift lies in the opposite direction, where what was familiar is warped beyond recognition. “Magic is about waiting,” Marshall writes, “it’s about letting the bad things happen. It’s about letting the children pass on to adults, and the mothers grieve, and the fathers lose their way, or find it.” A quirky interpretation of the term, but this marvellously unnerving collection lends credence to the definition. Gifts For The One Who Comes After, saturated with tales of omens and curses, is a gift for the one who comes looking.”  — Quill & Quire, Starred Review

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“. . . As she proved in her 2012 debut, Hair Side, Flesh Side, Marshall is a master at 
bizarre, myth-infused scenarios that play on a reader’s subconscious in ways creepy and oddly pleasurable. Gifts For The One Who Comes After extends this practice with a suite of tales that employ tropes borrowed from Gothic and Grand Guignol traditions, viewing quotidian reality through a distorted lens that exaggerates angles and shadows, making the real unreal or, at the very least, surreal.”  — The National Post

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“Gifts For The One Who Comes After should single out Marshall as one of the most accomplished writers of the fantastic being published today, an exceptional collection likely to be among the best 2014 has to offer.”  — This Is Horror

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“The acknowledgements page of Helen Marshall’s Gifts For The One Who Comes After reads like a who’s-who of contemporary genre authors and editors. Among her colleagues, friends, and early readers she counts Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Ellen Datlow, Michael Kelly, Stephen Graham Jones, Simon Stranzas and a great many others. What this list shows is a confirmation of why I’ve heard Helen Marshall’s name before: she is growing an impressive literary reputation. This, her second short story collection, comes hot off the heels of her first, Hair Side, Flesh Side, which was published in 2012 to a positive critical response. If nothing else, this newest book serves as proof that such a glowing reputation is well deserved.”  — The Winnipeg Free Press

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“Marshall is a masterful storyteller. … Her writing comes across as honest, and fearless, qualities which elevate her writing into the topmost tier of weird fiction being written today. … This is a must have collection for fans of weird literature, and is easily one of 2014′s best books.”  — The Arkham Digest

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Reviews for Hair Side, Flesh Side

“. . . Sometimes a book comes along that is so original, so vibrantly alive, so beautifully imagined and so much a law unto itself that the only comment or advice a reviewer can offer is to say: go read it. Hair Side, Flesh Side is one such book, and having experienced it I am left with a genuine sense of excitement, thinking about where Helen Marshall might take us next.”  — Strange Horizons

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“. . . Helen Marshall’s debut collection reads like a fanciful walk through her dark imagination. . . . Strangely touching, disturbing and weird as hell, Marshall proves herself a potent new talent.”  — Rue Morgue Magazine

“. . . Sometimes you hear people talking about the new face of horror. Well huddle closer, children. Hair Side, Flesh Side is it. . . . Marshall’s stories are frightening, touching, quirky, sexy and deeply lyrical. The 15 stories each seem deeply grounded in reality, making the otherworldly explorations all the more real.”  — “Best F/SF Books of 2012,” January Magazine

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“. . . Amidst moments of body horror and hauntings galore, miracles and expressions of joy are liberally sprinkled, offering moments that lingered in my thoughts well after I’d finished the story. . . . I cannot wait to see what Marshall conjures next.”  — San Francisco Book Review

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“. . . Hair Side, Flesh Side is a strong first collection of speculative fiction borne out of faded manuscripts, old libraries and the memories of the past. However, it’s how Marshall sees us reconcile these ghosts with the world of the living that give her stories the weight of immediacy. She is a talent to be discovered.”  — The National Post

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“. . . A tour de force of imagination, this remarkable debut collection uses the conventions of dark fantasy and horror as the framework for some of speculative fiction’s most unusual stories. VERDICT Fans of experimental fiction and exceptional writing should find a wealth of enjoyment here.”  — Library Journal, starred review

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“Stories subtle and unsettling: Helen Marshall clothes the uncanny in new flesh and then makes it bleed.”  — Kelly Link, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Pretty Monsters