It’s almost exactly a year ago today that I first read Calvin Demmer. His short ‘Never Sleep Again’ was one of the standout tales in the very good Monsters Exist collection from Deadmans Tome. (You can read my review here). A tale that twisted the childhood fear of an arm or leg dangling off the edge of the bed into something that will reignite those fears as an adult.
Published by Unnerving, The Sea Was a Fair Master is Calvin Demmer’s debut collection and features 23 tales which cover an extraordinary range of genres from horror, crime, fantasy & science fiction. At only 128 pages these shorts fall into the flash fiction category.
Having read this book in two short sessions a week ago, the collection is still stuck in my head. The quality of writing is exemplary, with each tale feeling unique and wonderfully complete. How a story that barely covers 3 pages can have a beginning, middle and satisfying end whilst featuring characters you are genuinely interested in testament to the skill of the author. There are no stories weaker than the other, ask me today what my favourite story was I’d say it was ‘Graves’, (heart breaking), yesterday ‘Restroom Finds’ (brutal with a wonderful twist), tomorrow? It really is that strong a collection.
I’d thoroughly recommend you go into this collection knowing nothing more about the stories contained within. The Sea Was a Fair Master is 23 stories across 128 pages telling multi-genre stories without a single wasted word.
To put it simply, The Sea Was A Fair Master is a brilliant flash fiction masterclass!
You can read an excerpt from The Sea Was A Fair Master tale ‘On The Seventh Day’ here
Star Rating (out of 5): 5*****
The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.
The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.
For the sea was a fair master.