Author: Roland Allnach
Published: July 2014
Source: TLC Book Tours for review
Prism presents the best of Roland Allnach's newest stories together with his most acclaimed published short fiction. These selected stories fracture the reader's perceptions among a dazzling array of genres and styles to illuminate the mysterious aspects of the human experience.
Roland Allnach has been described as a "star on the rise" (ForeWord Clarion), "a master storyteller with a powerful pen" (Cynthia Brian, NY Times Bestselling author), with writing that is "smart, elegant, and addicting" (San Francisco Review).
Anthologies and short story collections are often hard to review because of the shortness of the text, the lack of time you have to really sink into the story or get to know the characters therein. Usually there is a unifying theme and that can be helpful, but Roland Allnach's Prism is... different. Trying on many different hats and attempting to write in various genres, Allnach's Prism is a book that is hard to define, or to review. It does provide a lot of thought-fodder, and remains starkly unique reading experience in my memory. With varying degrees of success, it was a book that tried to do a lot and one that definitely kept my attention.
With almost disparate twenty stories contained in this not-quite-three-hundred-page book, chances are there will be something for every kind of fiction lover in Prism. If you like horror, or science fiction or poetry, Allnach has you covered here. (Same for fantasy or speculative fiction and so on and so forth.) And while the short-lived nature of these pieces of fiction can often work against them, it also makes Allnach's work stand out as a whole especially when he ties (some) of the stories together through a common thread.
Some of the stories are undoubtedly stronger than others. Some showcase Allnach's writing to great example, and some almost lose the narrative thread entirely. I can't say I was a fan of everything in Prism -- the poetry utterly failed to connect with me -- but when I was a fan, I was a big, enthusiastic fan. The collection veers more on the dark, tragic side of fiction but that was a large part of the appeal for me. I liked that the author isn;t afraid to explore negative emotions and perspectives in unexpected ways.