Note: Diving Mimes, Weeping Czars and Other Unusual Suspects was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by Fairwood Press.
Ken Scholes can tell a good story. In his first collection, Long Walks, Last Flights and Other Strange Journeys, he blew me away with his storytelling gusto. He has since gone on to write the very well received Psalms of Isaak series, which began in the novel Lamentation. Fairwood Press and Scholes have teamed up to release a second collection of Scholes’ stories.
Fans of Scholes’ novel series will find a couple pieces of particular interest, as two stories take place in the same setting. Set well before the novels, “A Weeping Czar Beholds the Fallen Moon” sets up a number of engaging elements that make this a wonderful story, even for those who, like me, haven’t read the series yet. “Of Missing Kings and Backward Dreams and the Honoring of Lies” works as a follow up to “Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise” (found in the previous collection, Long Walks, Last Flights). The story is as brilliant as its predecessor, and shows the richness of the world Scholes was creating. Another must read.
Other top stories, in my mind, include “Four Clowns of the Apocalypse and the Mecca of Mirth,” “The Boy Who Could Bend and Fall,” and “There Once Was a Girl From Nantucket (A Fortean Love Story).” However, that isn’t to say that any of the stories are lacking. You would be hard pressed to find a non-great story in this volume. Fans of the genre must pick this one up.