D. F. Lewis' The Big-Headed People and Other Stories was published by Eibonvale Press in December 2017.
Information about D. F. Lewis:
The Three Ages of D. F. Lewis (1948 - )
1. 1986-2000 – Over 1000 fiction publications in magazines and anthologies, culminating in the Prime Books Weirdmonger collection.
2. 2001-2010 – Publishing Nemonymous journal of fiction.
3. 2008 to date – Gestalt real-time reviews. (Plus one novel entitled Nemonymous Night, a collection, four novellas that were independently published and three originally created multi-authored anthologies.)
Click here to visit the The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews website.
Information about The Big-Headed People and Other Stories:
“The story missed a beat. It was sad. It never knew it could create such utter truth from such utter fantasy.”
These stories of D. F. Lewis are deeply rooted in both horror and dreams, yet told in a way that maybe comes closest to ‘outsider art’. These works are dreamlike in a true sense of the term, capturing that feeling of portentous yet seemingly random shifts in narrative, state and environment with complete ease. The results are both subtly unnerving in ways few horror stories manage and also demonstrate the author’s unique writing style.
This collection includes an expanded version of the title story plus four smaller pieces.
REVIEW: THE BIG-HEADED PEOPLE AND OTHER STORIES BY D. F. LEWIS
D. F. Lewis' The Big-Headed People and Other Stories is the second chapbook in the Eibonvale Chapbook Line.
D. F. Lewis has probably become known to many readers as a reviewer (The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews), but he is also an established author who writes excellent speculative fiction. This chapbook demonstrates his writing skills and gives readers an opportunity to marvel at his imagination.
The thing that marks the stories in this chapbook as unique is the author's distinct and original writing style. They're products of a bit different literary landscape, but their roots lie in traditional speculative fiction and weird fiction. Their subtly unsettling atmosphere and complexity offers readers a satisfying reading experience.
The Big-Headed People and Other Stories contains the following stories:
- The Big-Headed People
- A Halo of Drizzle Around an Orange Street Lamp
- Thoughts and Themes
- Origami Shadows
- The Soft Tread
"The Big-Headed People" tells of a man who has a big head. The author writes intriguingly about the man, his big-headed brother and the heinous crime he is accused of in front of the judges and the jury. This story reminds me of the stories written by Rhys Hughes, because it has the same kind imaginative and slightly skewed feel to it as many of Hughes' stories. This story was already familiar to me when I began to read it, because it was published in the Marked to Die: A Tribute to Mark Samuels anthology (edited by Justin Isis), but this is the first time that I read its expanded version (both versions are good, but I prefer this longer version).
"A Halo of Drizzle Around an Orange Street Lamp" is a story about batty Alma who decides to hold a picnic at night, because it seems fun and there will be something to write about in the journal section in the Family Bible. I found this story fascinating and was pleased with the ending.
"Thoughts and Themes" is a story about the circus coming to town. The narrator of the story and John take shifts watching what happens from the window of their house. This story has an uncanny feel of uncertainty to it. This uncertainty makes the reader wonder about the happenings and their reliability: Are the animals in the cages actually clowns or not? What is exactly the relationship between the narrator and John?
"Origami Shadows" tells of a man, Terry, whose wife suspects that he has a new hobby, because there's an unaccustomed silence about things. This self-aware and meta-fictional story lures its way effectively into the reader's mind and amazes the reader with its happenings. I consider this story to be one of the most successful stories of its kind, because the author has written an interesting tale and has realised it perfectly.
"The Soft Tread" is a story about Jill and Tom and their relationship. The author intriguingly refers to middle age as "the age at the edge" and gives the story its own flavour by focusing on the relationship between the characters. This gently thought-provoking and a bit wistfully written story is a perfect end to this chapbook.
I was impressed by the literary feel of these stories and found their strangeness appealing, because the author writes excellent and atmospheric prose. There was something dream-like about the prose and the stories that captivated me.
I have to confess that I'm not very familiar with the works of D. F. Lewis, but I will take a much closer look at his stories, because these stories are superb (this kind of speculative fiction has a special place in my heart and whenever I come across an author whose stories are unique and worth reading I tend to read everything I can find). If you're like and enjoy literary speculative fiction, you'll love these stories and will find yourself yearning for more.
D. F. Lewis' The Big-Headed People and Other Stories is a small gem of strange fiction that can be wholeheartedly recommended to readers who enjoy well written stories and are fond of literary strangeness. You should allow this chapbook to seduce you with its stories, because it's something special.