Storm Damage by John A. A. Logan
Elemental, like one of my favorite CDs by the same name. There is a terrible beauty in these stories.
Be sure to watch the lightning strike as the kindle loads the cover. It sets the mood for these very unusual and spiritual stories. Logan has done it again with his second eBook: the atmospherics of these stories take on lives of their own. Choosing a favorite would be as difficult as choosing a favorite child. Each story is unique and magical, casting its own spell, and the order is absolutely perfect, keeping the ‘fictive trance’ alive from beginning to end.
Each story has its own cogent observations such as the unlikely astronaut in UNICORN ONE, travelling through the universe with only Angus the toy cat for company, describing the intense loneliness; the universal face; the restlessness and seething nature of the hearts of space. Earth and Space.
Then the young soldier with the “soft, Holy,brown eyes”, in LATE TESTING, who avenges an evil act and returns to the hot dry battlefield to be tried by fire a second time. “There was always something beyond the eyes looking at you too, inspecting and questioning.” You will meet Cromwell and the relic of a 260-year-old witch, the self-righteous Abel, and the color purple will take on new meaning for you. Fire and Water.
NAPOLEON’S CHILD will “wow” you. I immediately checked the tweets from S.E.T.I., and thought of Dr. Ellie Arroway spinning through the wormholes of space. Or you might be reminded of Field Marshall Rommel in the North African desert or more aptly the story might evoke for you Napoleon Bonaparte staring at the Sphinx or at Ozymandias in the Egyptian desert. Earth.
EDGE OF THE KNOWN WORLD is about a supernatural circus where the animals and “arsonist clowns” stage a revolt.The universe intervenes. A child who has gaped and clapped at evil night after night seeks redemption and purification. Fire and Wind.
MAGENTA TAPESTRY. This story will appeal, as will they all, to the magic realism fans who people the Amazon world. The strange hum of the gardens, the secret door, and above all the Tapestry which feels “like dried spider legs.” After reading this I had a dream about characters stepping into and from that Tapestry. Atavism and Ernest conspire in this story of murder and deceit. Water.
THE AIRMAN, mystical and wondrous. I read it aloud to a friend and we were both sobbing at the end. You will experience the fires of Dresden and the heat of an Indian summer through the eyes of an empath. You’ll also learn about a “Bomber’s Moon” and what it was like for those terrified soldiers to parachute out of a dying plane to the fires of hell. You will soar above the Rhineland: This is a a beautiful story. Fire and Water.
THE POND was maybe the most powerful story in the collection; a story of memory and metamorphosis. Ovid meets Aristophanes? An old man’s money allows him to become that which he hates and the recipient of the money “sells” his artistic achievement. Water.Soren Rasberdsen and Milos Kundini remember.
THE ORANGE PIG is a captivating and powerful allegory, perhaps reminiscent of Animal Farm but far more poetic. The Orange Pig discovers the mountain and finds it sacred. The language is rich with symbolism and totemic references. The wolves lie down with the pigs on the plain of ceremony and it was good. Amen. I loved this story. And you will hear some echoes of Yeats, too.
The title story STORM DAMAGE has a section where the narrator wears his father’s hat and then sees his da in the mirror. I’ll not spoil the meaning of damage and storm for the reader. Wind and Water and Sun and Earth.
Last, but not least, SOMETIMES ALL THE WORLD COMES DOWN is an intense psychological narrative with lightning and thunder and wolves battling in the mind of the narrator.
For fans of Logan’s last book THE SURVIVAL OF THOMAS FORD, this is a “must read.” Sounds trite, but I was very sorry when the last story was finished. The collection will leave you unsettled in the eye of the storm, or “flopped across the iron gate” buffeted by the wind.