Noir Carnival

I know how it feels to be in too deep,” I said. I had felt the lure myself…  –“The Mermaid Illusion”

Now available at Amazon, Noir Carnival is an anthology of  genre-bending stories including my own, “The Mermaid Illusion,” a story about a femme fatale working a carnival act.

It’s a follow up to Fox Spirit Books’ anthology, Weird Noir, which included my hardboiled Godzilla detective fiction: “Three Kings” and “The Mark In Blue.” I couldn’t be more excited to be included in both projects.

Noir Carnival is in Reece Morris-Jones’ “Top 13 Reads” of 2013 at The Cult Den. In fact, it’s the top of the list. And “The Mermaid Illusion” is mentioned very favorably in Morris-Jones’ full review of Noir Carnival.

The Mermaid Illusion by Carol Borden is the story Eudora, a supernatural being captured and forced to perform in a freak show by the slimy Dr. Griffen. Again, a very strong story that is more focused on the actions of Eudora and how she liberates herself than any spooky goings on. A good read.

Mad Hatter Reviews has some kind words about Noir Carnival:

 [W]hile some may be willing to argue that you will never get the same plot and character development in a short story that you find in a longer release, there are stunning collections, such as Noir Carnival, to throw in their faces and prove them completely and utterly wrong. This marvellous collection…is littered with literary gems that I thoroughly enjoyed reading from beginning to end..

At 6 Impossible Things, Catherine Hill has some nice things to say about Noir Carnival.

This anthology from Fox Spirit Books is the second book in the Noir series, edited by the impressive K A Laity. These are dark stories with noir sensibilities, supernatural flavours and the smell of popcorn, candy floss, motor oil and fear. The settings vary in place and time, and the tone shifts between spooky, thrilling, creepy, tense, fantastical and cynical. The stories rattle between fantastical crime, dark fantasy and horror, genre boundaries blurring as the book passes by, like a motley collection of caravans. There are feisty heroines, doomed heroes, dangerous villains and desperate folk of all manner, just peer through the curtain.

And from Caroline Spence’s review at Sixty-Nine Degrees:

With a wealth of writing talent from different genres all participating in this collection, there is a surprise over every page. Including established writers, relative unknowns and Leicester’s very own fantasy writer, James Bennett, the stories range from true Noir to morality stories, fairy tales and outright murder.

Here’s a little bit about how I wrote “The Mermaid Illusion.” And a little fictionlet Kate Laity and I wrote on the facebook post announcing the finished cover, “Sure, He Was A Clown, But…”

From editor K.A. Laity’s call for submissions:

Dark’s Carnival has already left town, but it’s left a fetid seed behind. There’s a transgressive magic that spooks the carnies and unsettles the freaks. Beyond the barkers and the punters, behind the lights and tents where the macabre and the lost find refuge, there’s a deformity that has nothing to do with skin and bones. Where tragic players strut on a creaking stage, everybody’s going through changes. Jongleurs and musicians huddle in the back. It seems as if every one’s running, but is it toward something—or away?

Carnival: whether you picture it as a traveling fair in the back roads of America or the hedonistic nights of the pre-Lenten festival where masks hide faces while the skin glories in its revelation, it’s about spectacle, artificiality and the things we hide behind the greasepaint or the tent flap. Lead us on a journey into that heart of blackened darkness and show us what’s behind the glitz.

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