Blind Swimmer is an anthology, which was published by Eibonvale Press in August 2010.
Here's the description of Blind Swimmer from the publisher's website:
Eibonvale Press came into being in the winter of 2005 in a tiny Slovenian mountain town at the hands of David Rix, who sat down one day and decided “Today I am going to make a book.” The fact that he knew a lot about books but nothing at all about the book world somehow failed to make that dream flicker away like most dreams and the slow crescendo of Eibonvale Press continued from there and is still continuing. That quiet and lonely winter in the Slovenian mountains still doesn’t seem so far away as the press continues its search for the bizarre, the unclassifiable and the strange in new writing, in the process working with some of the best writers in the UK and elsewhere.
Now, this new book provides a chance to look back a bit and define Eibonvale Press as an entity. Blind Swimmer collects together 11 stories, most never before published, by all the writers who have made up or will soon make up the Eibonvale Press family. The result is a book that is as varied as the press itself. Creativity in Isolation was the theme we set, and the results are as varied as the writers themselves. Different takes on what creativity is, what isolation is and whom we are talking to as we tell our tales in the wilderness. The stories stretch from classically tinged horror to urban strangeness to experimental fiction and surrealism. From short stories to full length novellas. From the wilderness of Britain and Sweden to the equal wilderness of the American urban landscape. Blind Swimmer is a unique and spectacular journey through the flip-side of contemporary writing.
With a foreword by Joel Lane and an introductory essay by David Rix.
Contributors: Nina Allan, Gerard Houarner, Rhys Hughes, Brendan Connell, David Rix, Allen Ashley, Jet McDonald, Douglas Thompson, Terry Grimwood, Alexander Zelenyj, Andrew Coulthard.
Here's the review:
A REVIEW OF BLIND SWIMMER
Blind Swimmer is an anthology of 11 stories from different writers. Here's a list of the stories:
- Bellony by Nina Allan
- A story about Terri, who is looking for information about her favourite writer in a seaside town.
- The Flea Market by Gerald Houarner
- A wonderful story about a man who visits flea market and buys records.
- The Talkative Star by Rhys Hughes
- A short story about the sun.
- The Man Who Saw Grey by Brendan Connell
- A fantastic story about Greg who hits his head and begins to see grey.
- The Book of Tides by David Rix
- In this fascinating story a man finds a woman on the beach.
- Flights of Fancy by Allen Ashley
- An interesting story about a prisoner.
- Pigs Eyes by Jet McDonald
- A futuristic story about Elizabeth Standford and Pig Eyed Peanuts (pignuts).
- The Flowers of Uncertainty by Douglas Thompson
- A surreal and interesting story about a writer called Harold Swimmer.
- The Higgins Tehcnique by Terry Grimwood
- This tale of photography and sex is told from different perspectives.
- Far Beneath Incomplete Constellations by Alexander Zelenyj
- In this marvellous tale a man has an affair with a young Oriental woman.
- Lussi Natt by Andrew Coulthard
- An interesting tale about Tom who spends time at the cabin.
Some (or perhaps I should say all) of these stories are in some way experimental speculative fiction. It's a bit difficult to categorize these stories, so I won't try to categorize them (if I had to categorize these stories, I'd say that they range from surrealism to horror and from fantasy to science fiction). The experimental nature of these stories creates a surreal and seductive atmosphere. What I like most about these stories is that they're all good and worth reading. The foreword by Joel Lane and the introduction by David Rix are also worth reading, because they offer interesting information to the reader.
The theme of this anthology is creativity in isolation. Isolation is explored in several different ways (for example, in Gerald Houarner's "The Flea Market" the main character lives an isolated life and in "The Book of Tides" a man lives near a remote beach) and all the stories are different. I think it's great that all the writers have managed to write fascinatingly about their characters. All the characters are interesting individuals, who have their own feelings and thoughts.
It's difficult to choose which stories were the best stories, because I liked all the stories in this anthology. It was refreshing to read stories from new and (for the time being) unknown writers, who have their own unique voices. I hadn't read any stories from certain writers before, so I was eager to read their stories (it's great to read stories from new and gifted writers). I was impressed by their stories, because they put a lot of effort into their stories, so it's easy for me to say that each writer can be congratulated for writing good stories.
Here's what I think about certain stories:
Nina Allan's "Bellony" is a fascinating story about a woman who's looking for information about her favourite writer, who has disappeared without a trace. Nina Allan combines mystery elements and small supernatural nuances carefully and creates a fascinating story.
Alexander Zelenyj's "Far Beneath Incomplete Constellations" is a beautifully written story about a man, who has a sexual liaison with a Japanese woman. His dreams are fantastic and I'm sure that they will charm every reader with their inventiveness and strangeness. I was amazed how boldly Zelenyj wrote about sex and sexual situations, because sexual situations are often described in less details. In my opinion this story deserves all the praise it gets (it's one of the finest stories I've read this year).
Rhys Hughes' "The Talkative Star" is an interesting story about the sun. I think that this story can be called a mini collection of flash fiction, because it's almost like a collection of mini short stories. "The Talkative Star" is experimental fiction and it's totally different from the other stories, but it's a fine story.
Douglas Thompson's "The Flowers of Uncertainty" is also an interesting story. The main character is a writer called Harold Swimmer, who lives in isolation and is visited by a woman, who takes care of certain things. Thompson writes fluently about the isolated life of Harold Swimmer and strange happenings.
This is all I'm going to reveal about these stories, but I'll add that I liked very much Brendan Connell's "The Man Who Saw Grey", Allen Ashley's "Flights of Fancy", Andrew Coulthard's "Lussi Natt" and David Rix's "The Book of Tides", because they were skillfully written stories. Terry Grimwood's "The Higgins Tehcnique" and Jet McDonald's "Pigs Eyes" were also excellent stories. (As you can see, it's difficult for me to choose the best stories.)
These stories aren't easy stories, because they'll make you think about things and they linger in your mind long after you read them. All the stories in this anthology are more or less weird and some of them are a bit disturbing, but that's part of their attraction. Readers who appreciate weird stories will find lots to enjoy in this anthology (I'm sure that everybody who loves weird stories will be pleasantly surprised with this anthology).
I have to confess that I read all the stories twice, because I loved the way they were written. After reading these stories twice I can say that Blind Swimmer is without a doubt one of the best anthologies of 2010.
Blind Swimmer is a fine anthology of different kind of speculative fiction. If you like well written short stories and want to read something different, you should read this anthology, because you won't regret reading it. These stories will lead you to a world of wonder and amazement. Reading this anthology will reward you with glorious, wondrous and unique visions of different things, because all the writers are capable of transforming ordinary elements into new and exciting forms.