Seeds: Tabatha Wood
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I connected with Tabatha a few years back when she was a member of the Kendall Reviews team. At that point, I’d not read any of her fiction, but had heard great things.
After she’d left the review team, I ended up reading some of her non-fiction/essay work that she shared on the various review pages (GNOH/Sci-Fi and Scary etc etc) and loved it.
But it wasn’t until my first go around with her fiction work (her outstanding ‘Little Teeth’ in the Twisted Anatomy Anthology – which was the best story in there, in my opinion) that I was truly, rightly blown away.
So, when this collection was offered, I immediately said yes and dove in, gobbling it up in a few sittings.
What I liked: Tabatha opens the collection with a very nice foreword, sharing how each story started from a kernel and that it expanded from there. It really sets up the mood for what’s to come.
There were so many amazing stories within. Tabatha seemed to infuse each piece with a sorrow that ebbed and flowed just below the surface of each one, which made me always on edge, always wondering just what was about to happen and to whom.
The stand out stories for me were;
‘Bloom’ – such a sad, sad story. A couple stops near a field of flowers and gets out. It’s relayed to us that the characters shouldn’t touch them. I can’t say much more, but this one got the waterworks going.
‘Red-eye’ – another really sad story. An overnight flight, where a stranger meets up with a family. What happens after felt a little like an X-Files episode mixed with a Six Feet Under episode. The mother’s reaction to the events choked me up.
‘Breathing Room’ – just such a beautiful, post-apocalyptic style story of a couple living in a fallout style shelter. One doesn’t want to go on, one does. Really gorgeous.
Other highlights for me were ‘The Nameless Ones,’ ‘Marian,’ and ‘Long Drop,’ but throughout, Wood’s gave us fantastic story after fantastic story.
What I didn’t like: As with all collections, some spoke to me more than others. I will say that there wasn’t really a letdown; even the last few stories were as solid as the first few, but I think it was just more of a case of some characters I wanted to tag along with and others I didn’t care so much about.
Why you should buy this: Wood’s has crafted a really solid, sorrow-filled collection that showcases so many beautiful options for dark fiction fans. This was really well done and I’m looking forward to reading more of Tabatha’s work in the future.
It begins with a seed. A dream. An idea, planted and encouraged to grow. A thought that buries deep down inside and puts out monstrous roots. Until at last, the bloom erupts and showers the land with life.
It begins with a seed…
The menopause brings some unusual and unexpected changes, a woman wakes up after a party in a body that isn’t hers, a teen’s life changes forever when they embrace the truth about who they are, and a lone mother tries to bury her traumatic past but instead grows a terrible future.
An unsettling selection of quiet horror and dark speculative fiction brought together in a brand new collection from Australian Shadows Award-winner, Tabatha Wood.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction.
Steve is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters (Tim Lebbon, Gemma Amor, Adrian J. Walker, Ramsey Campbell) in some fantastic anthologies.
He is an active member of the HWA.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife and son.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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