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The Burning Woman and other stories


By Frank Roger

First edition, 2012. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-904808-91-6 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95.

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Also available in Volapük.

What if time were to grind slowly to a standstill? What if dreams are not what you think they are? Is our future already behind us? Are fairground attractions exactly what they claim to be? Should we listen to fortune-tellers? Could it be that the end of time is merely… the end of time?

The stories in this collection ask all sorts of questions. Some of them also give answers. They’re not always comforting, and not necessarily the answers you might have been expecting. Indeed, the unexpected is what you’re likely to get.

Frank Roger's stories cover a wide range of material, including and transcending the entire spectrum of fantastic literature. Some may detect an influence of Philip K. Dick’s dark satires, of J. G. Ballard’s poetic surrealism, perhaps even a dash of Jorge Luis Borges’ intricate puzzles and labyrinths, lingering in readers’ memories longer than anticipated.

But in the end you will have to chart your own course through this maddening landscape constructed by a few scores of short stories. We hope you will make it safely to the exit. Wherever the exit happens to be. If there is one at all.

Table of Contents

  • Irretrievably lost
  • The question
  • The winds of unchange
  • The fairground attraction
  • The end of time
  • Another fortnight of peace
  • The stranger who looked hauntingly familiar
  • The disruption
  • A new world record
  • The good example
  • The burning woman
  • The talisman
  • Full board
  • The shift. The shift. The shift…
  • The boy who narrowly escaped a terror beyond description
  • A message from Arthur
  • Thirty seconds
  • Tattoos on/off
  • The glitch
  • The man who jeopardized the continued existence of the universe
  • Mirror, mirror
  • The postcards of wisdom
  • Final recollections
  • The speed of darkness
  • A scientific breakthrough, with drawbacks
  • Complete understanding
  • The man who was stuck
  • A plague of mermaids
  • The test of time
  • The end
  • Out of sight
  • Missing
  • “Murphy’s Blues”
  • Working like a dog
  • A perfect day for a walk
  • Catch a last breath
  • The dark invasion
  • Frozen in time
  • The Apocalypse
  • The garden where time crumbled into dust
  • The big power failure
  • Incomplete information
  • The big apple
  • The expanding universe
  • Beyond the final chapter
  • The escalation
  • Success/Success
  • Fatal dimension
  • Nature rules
  • Travel bug
  • The last pizza
  • Clean slate
  • The unspeakable act
  • Cowboys of the rubber plains
  • Back to the present
  • If life is sacred…
  • The deceit of dreams
  • A tale of patricide and impatience
  • The reminder

HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2012-04-08

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