A Book of Endings by Deborah Biancotti
Paperback • 286pp • RRP AUS$27.95
Cover art by Nick Stathopoulos
Published August 2009
Shortlisted for the Aurealis Award and the William L. Crawford Award
Locus Recommended Reading for 2009
Honourable Mention, Best Horror of the Year Vol 2 by Ellen Datlow
40 Books from 2009 That You Should Read – SF Signal
Six Suicides – Winner Best Short Fiction, Australian Shadows Award
Six Suicides and A Book of Endings – shortlisted for Ditmars
Table of Contents
|I. End of days
Number 3 Raw Place
Seven Ages of the Protagonist
Stone by Stone
Pale Dark Soldier
|II. End of the World
Coming Up for Air
The Distance Keeper
The Tailor of Time
King of All and the Metal Sentinels
|III. End of an Era
Problems of Light and Dark
The First and Final Game
Summa Seltza Missive
The Razor Salesman
The Dying Light
This Time, Longing
Deborah Biancotti’s superb collection of short stories reminds me of the engaging work of Robert Aickman. She is a damned fine storyteller and her sheer originality, zest, energy and style fill the dark skyline of the modern world with luminous flares of mysterious force.
There’s wonder to the world, and a dark magic. And Deborah Biancotti wants to show it to you. Not just a series of short stories but an encyclopaedia of the uncanny, and a haunting reflection of how close the everyday is to madness. This is astonishing stuff – clever, humane, and more than a little profound.
A Book Of Endings, the long-awaited collection of stories by Deborah Biancotti, one of Australia’s best writers of short weird fiction (and I do mean weird) from Twelfth Planet Press, is a very tight and beautifully presented book.
Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth
Justin Ackroyd lists A Book of Endings in his Picks for 2008-2009
She is working in the Zeitgeist of The Road and Steven Amsterdam – the apocalypse and afterwards – but at much shorter length. … [T]he stories are succinct and powerful.
A very auspicious first collection by Deborah Biancotti.
Jeff Vandermeer, Sofanauts 27
[O]ne of the major strengths of Biancotti’s writing (other than her beautiful use of prose), … is her ability to consistently surprise the reader. One can never, ever quite see what’s just around the bend in a Biancotti tale: tragedy, hope, death, redemption, or none (or all) of the above. Will the story contain any paranormal elements, or not? Impossible to tell. And the journey undertaken by the reader in order to find out makes for an engrossing, tense, entertaining trip every single time…
A Book of Endings is quite simply a brilliant collection
Biancotti draws her main characters with deft strokes … A Book Of Endings is well worth seeking out if you’d like to read something fresh and different. I look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.
In 2009 many of Biancotti’s stories were collected in A Book of Endings, which recently went into its second printing. Many of these are magic realist and surreal tales where Biancotti can meditate on loss and escape. Indeed, as the title A Book of Endings suggests, there is a strong apocalyptic theme to the book, though some of these terminations are personal rather than social … There is humour here too (as in ‘The Seven Ages of the Protagonist’) though the pervading atmosphere is one of melancholy, which hovers over the pieces like a fog… Here we get a glimpse of Biancotti’s wonderful prose, which manages to be both evocative and controlled.
Deborah Biancotti’s first collection of short stories is jaw-droppingly good… hese stories do what Biancotti’s work does best: plumbs the dark everyday. She has a particular talent for reminding the reader that under every ordinary surface there lurks a range of dark rips and tides waiting to pull the unwary beneath…Biancotti’s stories are often strange, sometimes frightening and frequently masterful.