Book Reviews

Collision by J.S. Breukelaar

Collision by J.S. Breukelaar Book Cover

A collection of twelve of J.S. Breukelaar’s darkest, finest stories with four new works, including the uncanny new novella “Ripples on a Blank Shore.” Introduction by award-winning author, Angela Slatter. Relish the gothic strangeness of “Union Falls,” the alien horror of “Rogues Bay 3013,” the heartbreaking dystopia of “Glow,” the weird mythos of “Ava Rune,” and others. This collection from the author of American Monster and the internationally acclaimed and Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, announces a new and powerful voice in fantastical fiction.

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Emily’s Review

“What entranced him about earth were its shenanigans.”

Collision was my introduction to J.S. Breukelaar, and this was such a fun set of stories. They are all so strange, and there’s a really good variety here. Breukelaar is so creative, and I enjoyed seeing what each story was going to bring. 

There are eleven stories in this collection, and they all offer something different. Some are heavier on horror, some are heavier on sci-fi, and some are just downright weird. Every story in Collision received a positive rating from me, so there aren’t any bad stories here. This collection also has many LGBTQ+ characters, and I enjoyed the variety of relationships throughout the stories. 

My top three stories in this collection are The Box, Collision, and Like Ripples on a Blank Shore. I was fascinated by the stories for these three, and I would absolutely love to read a full-length novel about any of these. Many of the stories in Collision are haunting, and I’ve thought about quite a few of them since I finished the book. 

I feel like some of the stories went a little bit over my head. Breukelaar’s writing has a dreamy quality, and I wasn’t always entirely sure what happened (this didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the stories, though). I was talking to my friend Audra about it, and she compared the dream-like stories to Stephen Graham Jones, which made total sense to me. There aren’t full answers for everything, but I think there’s still enough to draw your own conclusions and get the main points. 

Breukelaar adds a really nice touch to this collection – she adds a short author’s note at the end of each story about her ideas for the stories or any other necessary information. I thought it was really cool to get to see into her head for a bit. 

If you love weird stories, I highly recommend picking up Collision. It was an entertaining read, and I’m glad I had the chance to check it out. Thank you to Meerkat Press for sending me a copy. Collision is out next week, February 19, 2019, but you can pre-order a copy now!


About J.S. Breukelaar

Author Photo J.S. Breukelaar

I am an author of literary speculative fiction, currently based in Sydney Australia where I teach literature and writing at Sydney University and Western Sydney University. My second novel, Aletheia, was a 2018 Aurealis Award finalist and my first novel, American Monster was shortlisted for the 2015 Wonderland Award. My new collection of short stories, Collision, is introduced by Angela Slatter and forthcoming in February 2019, from Meerkat Press and has earned advance praise from John Langan, Kathe Koja, Stephen Graham Jones, and others and has been reviewed at the New York Journal of Books. You can find my short fiction, essays and poetry in Black Static, Juked, Unnerving, Lightspeed, Gamut, The Nervous Breakdown, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, and in anthologies like Welcome to Dystopia, and Women Writing the Weird. Born in California, raised in New York, educated in New Zealand and Australia, I also regularly teach and occasionally columnate at LitReactor.com, and appear at conventions around the world where I read, panellate and do everything except sleep. In 2018 I was a grateful recipient of the Create NSW Starving Artist Award AKA the Artist Quick Response Support Grant.

I am currently on a deadline to complete my third novel, The Bridge.

Visit J.S. Breukelaar at her website: http://www.thelivingsuitcase.com/

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