Electricity & Other Dreams

Micah Dean Hicks. New American (www.newamericanpress.com), $15.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-9849439-4-4
In his debut story collection, Hicks presents a compact, impressive array of the strange and the eerie, the alien and the endearing. Hicks maintains a distinct and truly original style throughout all 26 stories using off-beat perspectives and grotesque imagery. Amid the 26 stories are inexorable curses, unexplained transformations, killing lies, electrical elements in human form, epically ludicrous sword fights, exorcisms, weather magic, and more. All are carefully sculpted confections, though they vary in length. "Railroad Burial" and "Watermelon Seeds" pack the punches into just two pages each, whereas "The Hairdresser, the Giant, and the King of Roses" is a longer burn. Hicks's protagonists seem oddly comfortable brushing up against the fantastic and the divine, taking in wonders and miracles as matter-of-factly as they might a new truck; this in no way diminishes the wonders they encounter. Hicks resists the tropes of any one genre, instead he embraces all manner of influences from the mundane to the fantastic. With striking skill in form and vision, Hicks woos readers into his wrangled worlds. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/11/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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