Review: Chasing Whispers by Eugen Bacon

This was a very well-written collection of speculative fiction.


Chasing Whispers by Eugen Bacon

Released September 2022

Source: Received for Review Consideration

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  | Amazon

Chasing Whispers is a unique Afro-irrealist collection of Black speculative fiction in transformative stories of culture, longing, hybridity, unlimited futures, a collision of worlds and folklore. It contains 13 stories, 11 of which are original, with a commanding introduction by D. Harlan Wilson. The collection is aligned with the themes of Eugen Bacon’s other fiction, and her recognition in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for “doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction.”

Chasing Whispers casts a gaze at mostly women and children haunted by patriarchy, in stories packed with affection, dread, anguish and hope. The connecting theme is a black protagonist with a deep longing for someone, someplace, something… and a recurring phrase in each story: “a deep and terrible sadness.”

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Chasing Whispers is a fantastic collection of short stories that starts out strong and stays that way. You’ll want to find a quiet spot to sit down with this one so you can submerge yourself in its dark and strange worlds. 

These stories are filled with longing, with disappointment, with transformation and every single one of them takes you to unexpected places. I’m just going to say a little bit about each one because that’s how I always review collections. I’m not going to say too much in order to avoid revealing any spoilers. If you want to go in completely cold please stop reading this review here. I completely understand because that’s how I usually go into most things.

Chasing Whispers
Zeda is facing the difficulties of seeing life through a different lens than others just wading through their lives in oblivion. But is this a life she wants? This is a mind-bending tale both strange and disturbing and it’s not to be missed. It’s an excellent way to start off the collection.

Memories Of The Old Sun
This is a story about obligation and overbearing mothers and a deep longing to live life as one wants - and also biorobots with no choice in any of it.

When The Wind Blows
Humans are so disappointing 😩 and that’s all I’ll say about that.

The Shimmer
Ok, I admit I am easily confused and this is a story that requires your full attention. Don’t read it when you’re sleepy like I did. I’m not entirely sure what happened here but I enjoyed reading it anyway.

Nyamizi, the Skinless One
This is a strange vignette about a skinless child longing to learn more about her mother and discovers some things about herself in the process. 

A Visit to Lamont
A man desperate to save his lover from something horrifying tries his best but he has absolutely no idea what to do and fumbles around and I found it all rather hilarious. Stick around for the ending because you don’t want to miss it.

Industrial Pleasure
Capitalism discovers a new energy source. This was nicely sarcastic!

Black Witch, Snow Leopard
If I had to pick a favorite story, this one is it. It reads like a dreamlike dark fairy tale. Two wounded souls forge a bond and it’s spectacular. I’d like to read an entire novel in this world.
 
Neuter
The way language is used in these stories is so striking, and unusual, and forces you to absorb those words and sit back and think. The author has an Incredible talent.

“I like what you host. A deep and terrible sadness.” 

A Deep and Terrible Sadness
A beautifully surreal tale.

Sita and the Fledgling 
We visit with a crabby old witch doctor who dispenses ridiculous cures and accurate insults to a desperate group of village idiots during the time of Covid and it's pure joy. Hilariously told from the point of view of a raven who wishes to be a familiar. This was so much fun and the sarcasm was so sharp it may cut you.

Fire Fall on Them
A misogynist gets what he deserves and that’s all I’m sayin’ 🤷‍♀️

Namulongo and the Edge of Darkness
This is the longest story here and is a fantasy adventure set in a strange world. 

I highly recommended this collection to fans of imaginative fiction. You can’t go wrong here!

⭐⭐



Comments

  1. I'm glad this short story collection was so good for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you! I usually find a few things to complain about in every collection but not this one!

      Delete
  2. I do like short story collections like this. I will have to keep this one in mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance to read it and that you enjoy it as much as I did.

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  3. Oooh! I haven't heard of this one! Adding to my TBR now!

    ReplyDelete

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