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Monsoon and Other Stories
Arinn Dembo
Kthonia Press, 160 pages

Monsoon and Other Stories
Arinn Dembo
Arinn Dembo has been a professional writer for twenty years. Her short stories have appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction, H.P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror, and a number of anthologies. My reviews, articles and features have appeared in numerous of web and print publications. For the past fifteen years she has worked primarily in the computer gaming industry, first as a reviewer and then as a developer icluding Homeworld and Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. Her first novel, The Deacon's Tale, will be published by Kthonia Press in October 2011.

Arinn Dembo Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

Journalist, reviewer, essayist, video game author, Arinn Dembo appears here simply as an author of short fiction and poetry. The volume collects ten tales and nine poems covering different genres. I'm not qualified to comment upon Dembo's poems (although I found "The Humanist's Prayer" quite effective and "The Crown" elicited in me memories of some of the best Bob Dylan's lyrics from his golden era) so I'll stick to her short fiction which, believe me, is extremely good. Dembo is refined stylist, yet a strong storyteller, and a versatile author of memorable stories.

In her gently disquieting, award-winning "Monsoon" (previously appeared in the Best Fantastic Erotica anthology) a photographer travelling in India receives nightly visits from a mysterious, fulfilling lover.

"Indigestion" is an interesting, very effective noir taking place during a train late at night while "The Passenger," about a solitary woman taking a subway night ride as well, is a vivid tale of urban terror but also of alien horror.

"Ichthys," set in the bowels of Rome during the digging of a subway line, although a rather implausible mix of ancient Greek myths and Roman Christian tragedies actually results, thanks to Dembo's terrific narrative skill, in an utterly fascinating, very atmospheric piece.

"When Push Comes to Shove" is a beautiful, sad tale about violence, brotherly love and life's unfairness.

To confirm the author's eclecticism, the entertaining "Sacred Heart" features a masked superhero -- apparently out of a comic strip -- fighting against evil and falling in love with a brave and beautiful reporter constantly in need of his help.

The superbly told "The Words" (a tale about the power and the helplessness of language) describes two desperate, unfulfilled loves by means of the diary of a crippled girl caught in a world of wealth and art.

Hopefully Dembo, despite her various commitments, will find the time to provide us soon with more of her enticing stories. I'm already looking forward to them.

Copyright © 2012 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.

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