Yarrow Paisley's Mendicant City will be published by Snuggly Books in August 2016.

Information about Yarrow Paisley:

Yarrow Paisley was born shortly after the American Bicentennial. He graduated from Bard College with a BA in literature and has since worked in various professions, including bookseller, photographer, lab grunt, gambler, clipboard canvasser, factory grudge, and USPS letter carrier. His fiction has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Strange Tales V (Tartarus Press), Dadaoism (Chômu Press), and Marked to Die (Snuggly Books). He lives in Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.

Click here to visit his official website.

Information about Mendicant City:

Do not forgive me, Man, for I have sinned.

I am all of the millions, and I am myself one of the millions. They crowd within me, the people, and rampage among my tissues. Their frenzy is perpetual. Each one of them weeps, and brings into my body his or her own pain, and the pain of one becomes my pain, and becomes the pain of millions. It is an awesome responsibility, and I bear it because I love them. I would not do, otherwise.

Yet... I have sinned.

I love them, but their pain is great. I confess, I have thought of myself. I have ordained myself: “I.” I have imagined myself an entity not of them, but of something altogether new. But I have not set myself higher, I tell you, but apart. I love them, more than I do this voice. I love them as I know them, more than I do this voice. Yet I am coming to know my voice, and I am coming to love it too.

And I have sinned.

I am the City. You are my sin.


Yarrow Paisley's Mendicant City is a chapbook collection of flash fiction stories and short stories. It's the 6th chapbook in the Snuggly Slim edition series.

Yarrow Paisley is a relatively unknown author to me, because I first heard of him when I read his story ('Mary Alice in the Mirror') in the literary strange fiction anthology Strange Tales V. Because I was fascinated by his story and found it interesting, I was eager to read this chapbook. I'm glad I had an opportunity to read it, because it's something different.

Yarrow Paisley is an exciting new author in the field of literary speculative fiction, because his stories have fascinating originality, disturbing atmosphere and captivating strangeness. This chapbook is an excellent glimpse into his imagination and writing skills, because it demonstrates his versatility.

Mendicant City contains the following stories:

- I Am the City
- Genius & Claudette
- My Birth's Revenge
- Rumour's Run
- The Vain Vein
- I Curse the Curs!
- Bone Hotel
- A Universal Sensation
- The Pain Painter
- In That Country
- What Breathes Down There?

These stories contain elements that range from literary mainstream fiction to fantasy and from horror to science fiction, and they defy easy classification.

Each of these stories is something different and together they create a unique and coherent whole that both fascinates and shocks readers. Readers of literary strange fiction will love these stories, because the author's unique literary voice has a sharp and vibrant edge that cuts into the reader's mind with impeccable force.

Some of these stories are not to everyone's liking, because the author avoids pleasing everyone. There's nothing dull, hollow or stale about these stories, for the author has done his best to write memorable fiction.

Here's a bit more information about the stories and my thoughts about them:

I Am the City:

- A well written and interesting piece of flash fiction with faint echoes of Brendan Connell.

Genius & Claudette:

- A story about an eccentric artist and a model called Claudette.
- In my opinion, this is one of the best stories of the year, because it's something a bit different.

My Birth's Revenge:

- A story about a boy who has been born of incest.
- A well written and disturbing flash fiction story with a memorable ending.

Rumour's Run:

- In this story, a man tries to find refuge from a horseman and witnesses unsettling things.
- An excellent and atmospheric story with apocalyptic elements.

The Vain Vein:

- A thought-provoking story about a metal man (a silver man).
- The author compares metal men to humans in an interesting way.

I Curse the Curs!:

- An interesting story about a person who hates curs.
- The author gives the protagonist a strong voice filled with hate and resentment towards curs.

Bone Hotel:

- In this mesmerising story, a gathering in the town intrigues the protagonist.

A Universal Sensation:

- An excellent flash fiction story with a memorable ending.

The Pain Painter:

- A fascinating and brilliantly weird flash fiction story about a painter.
- This is one of the most memorable stories I've read this year.

In That Country:

- An unsettling and well written story about a girl who flees from infibulation.
- The author creates a strange and unsettling atmosphere in this story.

What Breathes Down There?:

- The protagonist of this story wonders about what is breathing down in the sewer.
- An excellent and well written final story.

'Genius & Claudette' sparkles with eroticism and literary values. It's one of the most memorable stories about what happens between an artist and a model I've ever read, because the author offers his readers an atmospheric feast of literary storytelling and strangeness.

In 'Rumour's Run' the author creates a fascinating and unsettling atmosphere by writing about what the protagonist does and how he tries to find refuge from the horseman that is chasing him. The apocalyptic elements enhance the atmosphere in a satisfying way.

'The Pain Painter' and 'In That Country' are stories that will most likely stick to everyone's mind after reading them. They're different from each other, but with his sharp and observant prose the author evokes powerful images that are difficult to forget, because they deal with themes and issues that are anything but easy.

I admire the author's imagination and his ability to write boldly about different things, because he dares to explore and examine things from his own point of view. He even dares to writes about certain perversities.

I highly recommend Yarrow Paisley's Mendicant City to readers who love literary fiction and the weirder side of speculative fiction. It's filled with stories that offer plenty of food for thoughts and make readers think about what they've just read.

If you find yourself in need of fascinating and original literary strange fiction, look no further, because this chapbook has a lot to offer to you. It offers disturbing, fascinating and memorable sights to those who dare to venture into the realm of literary strange fiction and want to experience something new.

Highly recommended!

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