Team Black Gate has been friends with Suzanne Church for a long time. It’s not just that she’s friendly and full of energy — she always seems to show up with a helping hand just when you need it most. She’s pulled us out of more than one fire, usually when something has gone terribly wrong at a convention and we’re standing around looking lost. Purely in terms of karmic balance, we owe her big time.
So I was delighted to see her first collection Elements arrive. Not just because I’m a fan of her delightful short stories, but because I figured we’d finally have a chance to balance the scales a bit, you know, help spread the word. As it turns out, of course, Suzanne needs no such help, as figures with far greater reach than Black Gate have already jumped ahead of the line to sing her praises. Bestselling author Kelly Armstrong calls the book “An engrossing collection of tales, sometimes dark, always thought-provoking and original,” just as an example. Someday we’ll be able to repay Suzanne for all her kindness. But today, we’re just going to curl up with her collection and enjoy it.
Can humanity survive an ice age? Will the storm man steal Wanda’s baby? When will Bob and Sebbee escape the relentless march of the Lost Circle? What is the cause of the taint in Faya’s courted ice? If you can’t escape hell, can you at least afford a trip on a teleporting couch?
Church infuses emotion into every tale. Whether quirky or horrific, the prose deftly snatches the reader onto a whirlwind expedition of laughter and sorrow.
Elements collects science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories published in such places as Clarkesworld, Cicada, On Spec, Chilling Tales, Tesseracts, and Urban Green Man. It was published April 30, 2014 by Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. It is 248 pages, priced at $14.95 in trade paperback and $4.99 for the digital edition. The creepy cover is by Neil Jackson. Amazon.com currently has the trade paperback edition discounted to just $2.73, an 82% savings. But move fast to make sure you get a copy. Check it out here.