Bluegrass Symphony is the debut collection from Lisa Hannett, a purpose-written suite of stories (with one reprint) that is quite extraordinary. “There’s something very strange going on,” writes Weird Tales editor Ann VanderMeer in her foreward, and it’s something of an understatement. The dozen stories are set in a mythical state that is a fractured mirror of the American South, where chickens are fortune-telling chooks and rodeo stars vie for wedded bliss once the minotaurs are sated, where Pegasus analogs share the trails with semi-trailers and sticks and stones can do far more than merely break bones.
Some of the stories bridge the hazy county line between fantasy and magic realism, where the extraordinary is rendered everyday in the eyes of the characters, making it all the more uncanny for the reader. Hannett, a Canadian we happily claim as an Australian, evokes a wonderful sense of place through the patchwork quilt of these stories, as told through the eyes and the vernacular of her characters. She brings a broad palette to the landscape – first person, second person, a mix of tenses – and all firmly anchored in the reality of her characters, so much so the reader risks saying ain’t and yerself for days after.
The full review is over at ASif – here.
Oh and you can pre-order ze book here.