Dark Spires (Anthology) edited by Colin Harvey [Book Review]

Welcome to another Wessex

Dark Spires is a place based anthology about another Wessex edited by Colin Harvey. I enjoyed reading the anthology; it got a good mixture of speculative fiction in it. A theme is of course Wessex and the love for the land but it is also about the conflict between the urban and the rural. Another issue that is brought up is progress. There are many kinds of progress as we can read between the lines here.

  1. The Preacher by Sarah Singleton is a powerful folkloristic tale about the sea and the craftiness of the populace in Wessex.
  2. Pump House Farm by John Hawkes-​Reed is a tale of the value of the land to the people that live there in a dystopian future UK ruled by radical greens. Nice take on the blogger culture.
  3. Cobalt Blue by Adam Colston is a beautiful story about an ordinary boy who is cursed with the power to siphon lifetime from his fellows.
  4. Corpse Flight by Joanne Hall is a great fantasy story about the danes threatening to take over . It has dragons, legends and magical swords and tells the true story of how King Alfred the great defeated the Danes in May 878.
  5. Spindizzy by Colin Harvey is a near future story about a man and his journey. It has a train and a beautiful girl in it and it is all about the journey. Dedicated to the memory of James Blish, 1921-1975, and his Cities in Flight.
  6. Spunkies by Eugene Byrne is a horror/supernatural thriller about a government agent responsible for keeping the supernatural forces of the land quiet.
  7. The Sleeper Stone by Christina Lake is a different take on H. G. Wells and time travel. It is also features a future with a conflict between the Proper men and the Suneaters and maybe about how time might change.
  8. Outside by Guy Haley is a chilling tale about a man under siege.
  9. Last Flight to West Bay & After­word by Roz Clarke. The story is about Polly and the land. On surface it is a dystopian future where Polly is touring the world pondering the big decision she has to make about it while having flashbacks and being hunted by people opposed to what she stands for.
  10. Milk & Afterword Liz Williams is a fantasy about family issues and succession.
  11. Entropic Angel by Gareth L. Powell is a hopeful tale about a dystopian future where beings called Angels plague the land making machines and electricity fail and how at last the humans finds a way to fight back.

I am very glad I got this opportunity to read this anthology. There are some authors there I want to take a further look at but Gareth L. Powell  was the only one I found any releases for this year. He will release a novel I am interested in later this year it is named The Recollection and the story is a space opera that splits on two timelines and has a galaxy-spanning scope. It is due late summer or early fall from Solaris.


Title: Dark Spires
Editor: Colin Harvey
E-book: 695 kb
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Wizard’s Tower, November 2010
Copy: Review copy from the author.

An anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories set in, and written by authors from, Hardy Country, the Wessex region of England.