David Rix's novella, A Suite in Four Windows, will be published by Snuggly Books in February 2016.
Information about David Rix:
David Rix is an author, composer, editor, artist and publisher active in the area of slipstream, speculative fiction and horror. His published books are ‘What the Giants were Saying’, the chapbook ‘Brown is the New Black’ and the novella/story collection ‘Feather’, which was shortlisted for the Edge Hill prize. In addition, his works have appeared in various places, including the ‘Strange Tales’ series of anthologies from Tartarus Press, ‘Monster Book For Girls’ from Exaggerated Press, ‘Creeping Crawlers’ from Shadow Publishing, and ‘Marked to Die’ from Snuggly Books. He is the editor for Eibonvale Press.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about A Suite in Four Windows:
Four Windows. Four minds riding through derangement and beyond as clouds gather over the city of London. Four music students working hard to analyze a unique and extraordinary musical composition. From ‘The Night of the Electric Insects’ through the ‘Songs of Bones and Flutes’ to ‘God Music’ and the return trip, George Crumb’s ‘Black Angels’ - noble; wicked; madness; ethereality. Listen and the sky turns yellow and lightning flickers like burning alcohol in the distance.
A REVIEW OF DAVID RIX'S A SUITE IN FOUR WINDOWS
David Rix's A Suite in Four Windows is the first of the forthcoming Snuggly Slim editions. It's an excellent and captivatingly written novella that gives readers a taste of the author's imagination and writing skills.
Before I'll write more about this novella and its contents, I'll say a few words about David Rix. If there readers out there who are not familiar with David Rix's books and stories, I can mention that he writes intriguing literary speculative fiction and slipstream fiction. His published works are What the Giants were Saying, the chapbook Brown is the New Black and the novella collection Feather. If you've never read anything by him and this novella whets your appetite towards him, I strongly urge you to take a look at his previous works, because they're all unique and rewarding reading experiences.
A Suite in Four Windows has been written in homage to 'Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Lands' by George Crumb. George Crumb is an American composer of avant-garde music. 'Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Lands' is a work for "electric string quartet". The composer is interested in numerology and numerically structured the piece around 13 and 7. The piece is notable for its unconventional instrumentation.
It is a bit difficult to classify this novella, but if I had to classify it, I'd say that it is a fusion of literary fiction, slipstream fiction and modern strange fiction, because it has elements of these genres.
This novella strongly appealed to me, because I enjoy reading literary stories that have strangeness and a touch of darkness in them. There was something surreal and wondrous about it that enchanted me when I read it.
A Suite in Four Windows has been divided into six parts:
- Part 1: Basement. Terry - Night of the Electric Insects
- Part 2: Ground Floor. Kate - Devil-Music, Danse Macabre
- Part 3: 1st Floor. Mix - God-Music
- Part 4: Attic. Carrie - Night of the Electric Insects (Reprise)
This novella tells about four music students - Terry, Kate, Mix and Carrie - who listen to and analyse George Crumb's composition 'Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Lands'. The happenings take place during a heat wave when a storm is approaching London. The students live in different parts of a house and occasionally gaze out of the windows. The author explores what goes on with each of them as they try to make sense of the music and try to deal with the heat wave.
Terry struggles with his feelings towards Kate and talks to a geode called Teeth. Kate tries to concentrate on listening to the music, but his boyfriend, Tom, bothers him with his remarks and she has a row with him. Mix talks with Terry and tells him that he is aware of Terry's feelings towards Kate. Carrie smokes weed and has a feeling that something is not as it should be.
David Rix writes fascinatingly about how Terry, Kate, Mix and Carrie feel about the music and how it affects them. Each of the students seems to be affected by the music and its strangeness in different ways. When they listen to the music, clouds gather above London and a storm approaches. The clouds and the sky change colour in a foreboding way as the students analyse the music and talk to each other.
The music intensifies the atmosphere in the house in an excellent way. The author writes captivatingly about how haunting the sounds are and how the sound of the electric insects creates a feeling of something unnatural and demonic. There's a fine balance between the music and the atmosphere.
The ending of this novella is satisfyingly strange and memorable. I enjoyed the final moments and sentences of the story.
Perhaps it's my own fascination with H.P. Lovecraft and his weird stories, but there's a section in one of the sentences in Part 2 that seems to have a small reference to Lovecraft's fiction, because the famous phrase "and with strange aeons even death may die" has been transformed into an interesting format.
I think it's good to mention that this novella is not to be read in haste. It is best experienced in a relaxed state of mind without hurry, because it has depth and style. When the story grabs hold of you, it'll keep you wondering about what will happen to the students as they listen to the weird music.
David Rix's A Suite in Four Windows is a delicious snack between larger meals. It can be recommended to readers who want to read something different. Don't hesitate to read it, because it's a good and memorable story. It'll linger on your mind and you'll think about its contents long after you've finished reading it.