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Promise: Christi Nogle

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Christi Nogle:

TikTok: @christinogle0 

Flame Tree Press:

Twitter*: @flametreepress
Instagram: @flametreepress
TikTok: @flametreepress

*It’ll always be Twitter to me.

     I’ve rarely seen such an apt title as Christi Nogle’s Promise: A Collection of Weird Science Fiction Short Stories (Flame Tree Press): She promises a collection of weird, and holy hell does this book deliver. My review won’t do it justice; this book deserves a review as weird as it is, and I can’t figure out how to deliver. As often as I review short story collections, I usually only pick the ones I’ll like. In general, I’m ambivalent on anthologies as form. Sometimes they work well (see: Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic), and sometimes they’re wildly uneven (no names here, sorry). 
     There’s not a stinker in this one. Even my least-favorite story, “Laurel’s First Chase,” more horror than sci-fi, still stands as a solid short with a unique voice, lush prose, and a damn good plot. My “least-favorite” status comes from a simple reason: it’s horror rather than sci-fi,  and I’m currently digging her stellar sci-fi. 
     This collection is weird as hell. Nogle’s concepts are stratospheric; she combines beautiful writing with bizarre set-ups whose sheer whirl will send you reeling. “Substance”, originally published in Fusion Fragment, wins the prize as the weirdest story I’ve ever read. I can’t even begin to explain its concept. She wins weird. Other than “Substance,” I can’t pick a favorite. It’s that good. 
     With her recent Stoker win for Beulah, Nogle’s star is on the rise. Promise shows she’s a master of the short story as well—both horror and sci-fi, usually both at once. That’s another of Promise’s strengths: Nogle’s wizard at a combination of sci-fi and horror—a trick that often falls flat in the wrong hands. 
     Score another for both Nogle and Flame Tree Press, and pick up Promise when it releases September 12th. Like Beulah, this one’s a must-read. 
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