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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scott Niven, author, TWILIGHT CANDLEFLIES

I just finished Scott Niven's collection of short stories TWILIGHT CANDLEFLIES. I was first drawn to the book by the beautiful cover. It reminds me of a German Expressionist painting. And the stories inside, being dystopian sci/fi, have that same expressionistic feel--that somewhat odd but engrossing aura.

All three stories end on a somewhat ironic note, which flows naturally from the stories' plots and themes. So, all three stories, while whole and complete in themselves, leave you wanting to know more, more about this dystopian world.

The story I'll discuss in more detail is a perfect example. The title itself, "This Is Not Your Mother's Earth," sets up the tone of irony. Is the title directed at the reader or at the story's subject matter? It works either way, but with totally different meanings.

And what about the main character? He's an eighteen-year-old man who's life is filled with irony. Has he been bred to be what he is? Is this the fate of all boys on this planet? And who's in control? Chaos is an intregal part of his theme. Is chaos in control? It's doubtful, but maybe.

This is clearly a world without love, yet love is at the center of this man's life. Unfortunately, he can't have what he loves. And his love is drowned out by the roar of falsity. And the notion of what's heroic is definitely a lie.

There is much that can be said about this story and the other two as well. The writing is excellent. Scott has taken great pains to master his craft. I don't read much sci/fi or dystopian literature, but I think the quality of his stories places them at a higher level of performance than the average literature in this genre. If you like this genre, you will be enthralled by Scott Niven's collection.

You can visit Scott Niven and learn more about him and his writings at http://www.scott-niven.com/.
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