Stolen Stories (by various writers)
The best stories are the simplest
Here’s a set of short stories collected by the people at The Forest Group, linked only by the fact that they’ve all been pilfered from somewhere. Each story also has an afterword entitled ‘Nature of Theft’ where the author has to confess what makes their story stolen, which is a nice compliment to the stories themselves. It’s a varied collection – the linking theme is rather broad, and so there’s little similarity between pieces. Nothing particularly wrong with that though. The best stories are the simplest: Ron Butlin’s ‘Not Dead Yet, Lily’ is a straightforward piece about an old woman digging her garden in a thunderstorm, based on a woman he’d heard of who had decided to live her old age however she pleased. Louis E. Bourgeois’ ‘Story’, however, ends with this sentence: “So, Marcel grew latescent as Alpha Centauri, and, with a renewed vigor of ague, went to his room”. There's rarely any excuse for such overwrought nonsense. That piece aside, this is a good series of entertaining stories. Just don’t steal your copy! [Nat Smith]
Out now. Published by Forest Publications, cover price £5.99. Available online or through the Forest Café.