All Hail the New Flesh by Dagda Publishing

 Where to even begin with this book? As previously mentioned this is the new anthology from the epic Dagda Publishers. It contains within thirteen futuristic tales of dystopian Worlds and technology gone mad; and my God it’s a cavalcade of creative goodness that has your mind soaring from a mix of imaginative stories and language so delectable you feel full just from the one reading.

I had initially intended to speak of only one or two of the stories within but I now know that is a distinct impossibility. Many of the stories called out to me in various ways that has my mind returning to each tale again and again. You may think I am going overboard with my description but believe me, pick up a copy, you’ll be in my mind set before you know it.

I must begin with the story from one of my best friends and my writing hero. Isaac Heights by J S Collyer is such a fantastical journey of science and emotion that it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. A perfect image of a young moralistic Dr, Jasper, struggling to establish himself in a mental institute for androids is painted before your eyes in such a way that you can almost physically see the moral dilemmas he finds himself in. In retrospect, his almost fateful meeting with one of the inmates perhaps was not best for his career. Would his morals be tested? Would his belief in equality be heard? Would the ultimate freedom for all be achieved? One aspect of this story I loved was that the language use, while detailed, didn’t serve to alienate the reader from the subject matter; the language was so well written that alienation from the narrative was in no way a possibility. If I take, for example, this description ‘She was one of the most early models before they’d refined the iris spectrum. Instead of the delicate sky-blue of the newer makes he’d worked with at college, her eyes were the colour of burnished bronze,’ how wonderful is that combination of language? You have the cold description of models and spectrums expertly meshed with the almost reverent description of colours. In turn, the story flows in such a creative way that you find yourself ensconced in the narrative and eager to find out the climax; and I can promise you in that you won’t be disappointed either. This is a wonderful story of technology, suffering, conflict and perhaps, in the end, misplaced trust.

I now have to move onto the exceptionally written At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal by Eric Robert Nolan. Now first off, how great is that title? I am absolutely in love with concepts of literature that sound to be idealistic but turn out to be a wonderful description of the narrative itself. It reminds me greatly of the novel that the film Blade Runner was based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, another brilliant title. But sojourn into the random aside, I have to say this story perfectly establishes for you the struggles of genius when striving to cure the World of all ills. The protagonist represents said genius in the form of Jacob Farmer, a scientist determined to advance past his research into artificial hearts to create something that would cause Human kind to heal itself of all ills. Little did he know that essentially he was catalyst to a certain type of apocalypse… but I won’t give up any spoilers here. I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy as there are twists and turns here to fully engulf you and leave you literately sated afterwards. The language use here is also exceptional; for example look at the description the protagonist uses for himself ‘The point is this – I created thinking organs. I have a genius for mechanics that rival’s Strasburg’s own. (I am not a modest man.)’ How fabulous is that? The personality of Jacob really shines here through expert language use, from his belief in his abilities to the knowledge that one day he would do something great, all portrayed in a few sentences. The effects of this wonderful narrative are one of a well written story filled with achievement, love and inevitably sadness.

My third choice is one of the stories that really had an effect on me; one of emotion and I will admit, almost a kind of fear. Taking direction by Samuel Barker is an effectual tale of loneliness, begrudging friendship and reliance on technology that borders on the extreme. We are introduced to the protagonist Ben, in his dark grey World of loneliness, and Derek his almost absent minded neighbour and occasional friend. He goes over to Derek’s house sometimes so that they can share coffee and Derek can talk of some of his inventions; at the moment he is intent on finishing a highly intellectual sat nav like device. They both make believe that Ben understands what he talks of as it relieves Derek of some of his loneliness too. What would happen if one was so lonely they were extremely susceptible to any power of persuasion? What follows is a tail of loss, obsession and at moments we are led to believe that there are aspects of the occult. Such wonderfully descriptive language is used that I am certain it will have individual effects on each and every reader; I personally was chilled after the climax, that kind of I-just-watched-a-horror-movie chilled but it may be different for other readers. I loved this descriptive section ‘”Ben.” I heard it again, so familiar, like a sheep’s bleat. But I was awake. I felt my body going rigid. Cold sweat formed under my arms… “Ben.” My heart seized up. It was Derek’s voice and it wasn’t outside; it was in the room, somewhere to my right. Close.’ Placed where it is in the narrative this served to begin that aforementioned fearful feeling and had my mind racing at the possibilities of the ending. What followed was highly intuitive, extremely creative and very thought provoking; a great story.

I have to now move onto the wonderfully written The Best Medicine by Jessica B. Bell. Again I will admit that this too started to provoke in me that same fearful feeling but this was quickly overridden by my sense of enjoyment at the well thought out story, brilliant language use and, much as the previous mentioned tales, fantastic character development. What would the World be like if it were ravaged by a disease so virulent that even loved ones became horrendously deformed, mindless enemies? Where would the search for a cure lead? This story expertly delves into the recesses of such a narrative that even from the beginning you are presented with a World left with no hope but only desperation and the will to survive. I felt that in a way I really connected with the story as the protagonist is a mother Hell bent on protecting her daughter at all costs. Having recently become a mother myself, and having the rampant imagination necessary for the survival of us writers, I could really project myself into this narrative and could easily feel the emotions that character felt as if they were my own. The part of the text that really stuck with me was ‘”Shhh!” Judy hushed her, holding a hand firmly over Helena’s mouth. The older woman’s heart was trembling in her chest, and her mouth was dry and cottony. She licked her lips and whispered: “We’ve got to get out of this house.”‘ This was just the beginning of some excellent descriptive language and I myself could feel the panic rising in me as if it were tangible. It only goes on to get better and you are ultimately left feeling satisfied with the excellent ending; one that presents sadness, loss and a twist so well written you are actually left smiling.

And lastly I want to mention the excellent Retrograde written by Seppo Kukri. This is one narrative that quite expertly melted my brain through twists, turns and language use so good you follow the story without being aware that you do; your brain is still five pages behind trying to gather up all the different detail. Now I can’t say much about this story in all without giving too much away. You are presented with a forgetful protagonist that knows he has to do something important, it’s why he is on the train, but he can’t remember what. You are eventually treat to his past and this part does actually flow so well it’s like water, even though there is literally a narrative twist on each page. A military operation left him as the sole survivor, having witnessed the gruesome deaths of his colleagues and experiencing a madness so deep no one believed him. A botched experiment on the operation had far reaching consequences that would last the rest of his life. You read and you start to think that perhaps the author missed something as a certain integral detail was different two pages before but they haven’t; this is an expertly written piece designed to leave your mind reeling while efficiently describing the unstable state the protagonist is in. I can’t even tell you much about the language without giving spoilers away. Just trust this is an exceptional piece.

Sorry for going on so long, I do tend to ramble a bit, but I just had so much to say about this wonderful book; and hopefully in a coherent manner. I have attempted to leave major plot points out while telling you of the stories so you can find out yourself about the brilliance of these new authors and what they can contribute to the literary World. Buy this book, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

And yes I too am published in here but it’s bad taste to write about my own work, especially when the genius of these above authors, not to mention the others in the anthology, is so plain to see 🙂

Thank you 🙂

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helena Hann-Basquiat
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 02:08:37

    Thank you so much for the wonderful review, darling. I look forward to getting my hands on a copy!

    Reply

    • akhinchey
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 08:52:22

      You’re welcome 🙂 I had to mention Jessica’s story as it was one that called out to me for several excellent reasons 🙂 you won’t be disappointed when you get your copy 🙂 xx

      Reply

  2. Helena Hann-Basquiat
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 02:12:35

    Reblogged this on Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante. and commented:
    As I haven’t read it yet (I’m an old-fashioned sort of girl, and am waiting for my physical copy) I’m re-posting this excellent review by A.K. Hinchley — excellent, of course, because she is enthusiastic and energetic in her recommendation! (That, and Jessica saw her name mentioned and begged and whined and pleaded for me to praise her in some small way — god, she’s like a kid with macaroni art demanding to have it framed and put on the fridge, sometimes, I tell you!)
    Anyhow, the more I read about this collection, the more excited I get, and the more proud I am to be a part of it.

    Reply

  3. J. S. Collyer
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 13:46:02

    Great post, lovely! Can’t wait to read the rest of the stories now! And thanks for the lovely comments 🙂

    Reply

  4. Trackback: More positive reviews for “All Hail the New Flesh.” | Eric Robert Nolan, Author
  5. Eric Robert Nolan
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 00:28:45

    Reblogged this on Eric Robert Nolan, Author and commented:
    Reblogging this — some very kind words from A.K. Hinchey about Dagda Publishing’s “All Hail The New Flesh,” which is downloadable for free for Kindle users until Wednesday.

    Here’s the link to Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/All-Hail-Flesh-Various-Authors-ebook/dp/B00I12PZH2/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1401753681&sr=8-1&keywords=all+hail+the+new+flesh

    Reply

  6. Trackback: *INCOMING* Excitement, Intrigue and Space Pirates | The Torn Page - A K Hinchey's Writing Blog

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