I Wish, I Wish by Zirk van den Berg (Cuba Press Novella Series, 2020), 173pp, $25; Ten Acceptable Acts of Arson, and other very short stories by Jack Remiel Cottrell (Canterbury University Press, 2021), 136pp, $29.99
Two interesting and arresting books. The first is a short novel, a work of fantastic fiction; the second is a series of short, short genre-benders, a work of sometimes frightening fabulousness. Both are very well written, compact in construction and content, and compelling.
I Wish, I Wish is a cleverly written novella which is bodacious reading—swift to complete, simple to solve. The kaupapa or theme is rather unusual. A nondescript nonentity of an undertaker, Seb, earns himself three wishes because of his own kind act towards a fading yet angelic child, Gabriel, who visits the bankrupting mortuary where Seb performs the brunt of the work, and who somewhat miraculously reconstructs a seemingly unsalvageable Rubik’s Cube. [Read more…]