Published today: the first ever paperback editions of two landmark collections from Garry Kilworth (described by New Scientist as “arguably the finest writer of short fiction today, in any genre” and by Fear as “one of the most significant writers in the English language”).
Moby Jack and Other Tall Tales by Garry Kilworth
Moby Jack and Other Tall Tales is a collection of stories that span some 20 years. They cover a variety of themes and are more different, in style as well as content, than they are similar. As the author himself says, “Some writers follow a path of sameness in order to satisfy their readers’ desire for familiarity. To me that’s like going to same country for your holiday every year. It’s not me. I like going somewhere different every time.”
The tales range from Chinese fantasy (‘Death of the Mocking Man’) to science fiction (‘Moby Jack’), to fantasy (‘The Sculptor’) to horror (‘The Megowl’) to ghost stories (‘Hunter’s Hall’) – but for the most part they’re just plain odd and refuse to slot into any set category.
This edition of Moby Jack also includes the previously uncollected ‘When the Music Stopped’ by Christian Lehmann and Garry Kilworth.
So, if you like weird stories, dark comedy and tales where characters get into impossible situations and only occasionally extract themselves, then you’ll probably enjoy this volume.
Tales from the Fragrant Harbour by Garry Kilworth
The collection is split half-and-half into general fiction stories and supernatural tales. They were all inspired by the people and places of that magical effervescent city, not forgetting its surrounding mountains and countryside, and the myriad islands that come within its sphere. There are tales from Chinese viewpoints and stories about the lives of expatriates.
If you read no other general fiction stories, then you must try ‘Typhoon’ with its fearless heroine the indomitable Elizabeth, or the imperturbable reptile catcher from ‘The Snake-Man Cometh’. If your taste is not for the fantastic, you would be poorer in spirit for not experiencing the poignancy of ‘The Hungry Ghosts’ and ‘Memories of the Flying Ball Bike Shop.’
If you have never been to Hong Kong, enter it page by page. If you have, retrace its familiar corners.
There’s plenty of variation to satisfy most readers’ literary appetites. Fans of elegant short fiction and Far Eastern culture will find this very worthwhile reading.
“Garry Kilworth is arguably the finest writer of short fiction today, in any genre.” (New Scientist)
“His characters are strong and the sense of place he creates is immediate.” (Sunday Times)
“Kilworth is a master of his trade.” (Punch)
“Kilworth is one of the most significant writers in the English language.” (Fear)