Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Jack O' The Hills by C.S.E. Cooney
There are certain authors that, after you've heard them read, you'll forever after hear their voices in your head whenever you read their work. It was impossible for me to read C.S.E. Cooney's chapbook, Jack o' the Hills, without adding those sly little inflections and feeling the undercurrent of manic energy that accompany all of her performances. So I can recommend the book to anyone ... but only with the caveat that it still doesn't compare to hearing it read by the author herself.
The book collects two short stories, Stone Shoes and Oubliette's Egg, concerning a trickster named Jack Yap, his giant brother Pudding and the contents of a most unusual egg. It's high dark fantasy in which even the most grotesque and sinister of elements are rendered through words into something beautiful.
You can order the book in print or as an e-publication here. And if you need convincing, check out her story, Pale, and from a Sea-Wave Rising, at Apex Magazine. Or her poem, Dogstar Men, at the same site. And as far as live performances go, try Ride of the Robber Bride in the Spring 2011 issue of Goblin Fruit.
She's currently working on a novel and once it's published, this chapbook is going to be one of those rare collector's items that goes for big money on E-bay. Honestly, if you're looking for fresh voices in dark fantasy, you'll want a copy of this one.