The quiet moments between lovers. The precious minutes when we are most ourselves.
A.M. Harte’s second collection is a tribute to the defining fragments of life – a blind girl rediscovering sight, a scorned lover finding solace in research, a brother meeting the sister he never knew he had…
With Solid Moments, A.M. Harte captures the essence of passion in the moments that it lays itself bare.
A.M. Harte is a London-based speculative fiction enthusiast and chocolate addict whose work includes the dark fantasy novel Above Ground and the zombie love collection Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what 'free time' means, and enjoys procrastinating at https://www.instagram.com/am.harte/
[All my star ratings are reflective of personal opinion/enjoyment. 1 star = I read it all but wasn't a fan, 2 stars = it was okay, 3 stars = I liked it, 4+ stars = I ignored people to finish reading this.]
Solid Moments is an anthology of short stories by British author A M Harte. I follow her on twitter and I also read her site whenever I can; therefore I was only mildly surprised when I found that I had already read some of the stories included in the book. That did not detract me from enjoying it, however. I always find it difficult to review anthologies, because due to their very nature quality varies a lot from one story to the next. I'm happy to say that Solid Moments offers a high level of reader satisfaction. The stories are on the short side, making for fast reading that leaves no time for boredom.
Harte's stories are dark fiction: more often than not, they will leave an interestingly bitter aftertaste in your mouth. One can appreciate several recurring themes haunting the characters, such as depression, self-doubt and alienation. I've also noticed that Harte favours the disfunctional protagonist couple, and here couple does not necessarily involve love of any kind. As a matter of fact, in several stories such love is missing completely. I like how Harte handles the dynamics of using two protagonist characters, sometimes switching points of view, sometimes not, and often giving us a surprise or two -even spooky ones.
An unexpected bonus is the section at the end of the book where the author explains the story behind each tale. I loved it for two reasons: the first one was that it took me back to my years of early science fiction reading, when I devoured those Isaac Asimov's anthologies where Asimov added one or two paragraphs before every tale and explained to us readers how the sotry had come into being and how it had been published.
The second reason why I liked this section was that for several of the stories there was a bonus, such as the tale wherein each sentence starts with correlative alphabet letters, or the one where each line of dialogue starts with the last word of the previous one. I actually went back to check some of those details, a somewhat annoying operation on an e-reader and of which Harte is absolutely innocent of.
In short, I enjoyed this book and recommend it heartily to all fans of fresh, dark, brooding fiction. Not many happy endings here.
A collection of short stories that define fragments of life. A blind girl, a brother meeting a sister he never knew, a boy hooked on video games, a women in a loveless marriage, a soldiers story, just to name a few. Each story was unique and touching in its own special way. I liked every story.
What I also like (and found unique and a very great concept) was at the endof the book, the Author tells us what inspired her to write each story. I found that to be interesting. I often wonder how an Author comes up with the ideas behind each book. Those who love short stories should read Solid Moments.