Title: A Garden Fed by Lightning
Author: Marshall Moore
Marshall Moore’s short fiction is propelled by a scathing wit and a dark imagination, and he does not shy away from taking readers down roads that are less traveled and rarely even mapped. In the title story, a con man cons a beguiling con artist… or does he? In “Grape Night,” a new arrival in Hong Kong enjoys the pleasures and terrors of a wine-tasting party with visiting gods from the Greek pantheon. In “Underground,” the minotaurs who secretly control urban life welcome a new member of their bloodthirsty elite. And in “Cambodia,” a country’s genocidal past and its cosmopolitan present collide atop a ruined temple. In A Garden Fed by Lightning, as in his two previous short-story collections, Moore spans multiple genres of fiction and subverts them all.
A Garden Fed by Lightning is a collection of eclectic short stories that shouldn’t work…but do!
I am a big fan of short story collections, and A Garden Fed by Lightning was just my type of book. A book full of bizarre stories in various genres? Sign me up! The short story is an art that only a few authors can master, and I went into Marshall Moore’s work with a hopeful and open- mind. Based on the synopsis, I knew I was in for a treat, and Moore did not disappoint.
Sometimes multi-genre short story collections aren’t cohesive, but the placement of each short story in Moore’s work transitioned smoothly. Moore delved into the darker side of literature with his stories, but I found them comical nonetheless. Dark humor is just my cup of tea, and Moore has mastered it. Each of his stories reminded me of The Twilight Zone with a fantastical twist, and my emotions were all over the place. I haven’t had an author move such a variety of emotions within me like Moore has. He challenges the reader to look into a deeper part of themselves as they read his work, and the sensation is almost unsettling.
A Garden Fed By Lightning is a hodgepodge of stories that span the eclectic genres of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi with contemporary elements. The only reason I didn’t give it 5/5 stars is because Moore’s writing could be longwinded at times. However, Moore’s work is broad, and his work is sure to touch just about any reader. If you love The Twilight Zone, or dark sci-fi/fantasy, then you are sure to get a kick out of A Garden Fed By Lightning. I know I did!