The Children in the Train Window

My horror short story ‘The Children in the Train Window’ is just published in Issue #77 of the Blood Moon Rising Magazine. Link is here to read :

http://bloodmoonrisingmagazine.com/shortstory774.html

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The Specter of the Shifting Sands

My science fiction short story ‘The Specter of the Shifting Sands’ is newly released in the H.G. Wells Issue 21 of NonBinary Review June 2019 release @ZoeticPress. Link is here :

https://www.zoeticpress.com/lit-journals/nonbinary-review-issue-21-hgwells

goodreads reviews – My Review of ‘A Greater God’ by Brian Stoddart on goodreads

Here is my Review of the fourth Le Fanu Series historical crime fiction novel ‘A Greater God’ by Brian Stoddart posted yesterday, June 27, 2019, on goodreads. Link is here :

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2874487657?utm_content=review_cta_see_your_review&utm_medium=email&utm_source=bookend

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Rekha’s Book Reviews – A Greater God by Brian Stoddart

 

A GREATER GOD – by Brian Stoddart

 

This book is my first introduction to the works of novelist Brian Stoddart, the Le Fanu series. First and foremost to travel in a novel from Penang to Madras came as a pleasant surprise, familiar as I am with both places. What amazed me was the author’s remarkable grasp of local lives, customs, foods within the context of the novel, the ease with which he intelligently breezed through the colorful multi-cultured, multi-faceted history of two major townships of the British Raj – Madras and Hyderabad.

 

It is said a writer of good historical fiction brings the fiction to life. For me Brian Stoddart proceeded to do just that. The bustle of 1920s Madras, its sights and sounds was well delivered. So was the chaos as the reader is transported from Thousand Lights to Fort St. George, Mount Road to Mylapore, while familiarizing with police procedures and its ramifications, the rising riot situation which could escalate at any moment into full-scale Hindu-Muslim rivalry simmering at the surface. Added to these heightened tensions are combined early signs of weakening British power in turn of the century India, the inevitable collapse in the British enclaves as all do not see eye to eye, unraveling through the eyes of his hero, Le Fanu and a small group of players who form the main characters in the story.

 

The pace of the novel draws you in from the first page to the last. It is as if you’ve stepped into another time zone, a different era, as the reader comes to terms with what is brewing in Le Fanu’s professional life, a high-wire balancing act in light of the festering conflict with his mastermind nemesis Jepson, the Jockey for the riding crop he carries, the anti-hero foil without whom villainy would diminish, running neck-to-neck with Le Fanu’s personal life, which to all outward appearances is a mess. While the depiction of Habibullah and Caldicott, Ro McPhedren and even Chief Secretary Whitney were well drawn, I felt the hero Le Fanu, although likeable, came across as somewhat indecisive and ultra English gentlemanly rather than tough for the role of Police Superintendent his duties expected him to fulfill. I was reminded of the gentle Inspector Ganesh Ghote in the Inspector Ghote series by crime fiction writer HRF Keating.

 

Chris Le Fanu is a constant prognosticator in the style of Hamlet, where hard-boiled decisions are called for. He cannot seem to decide who needs him more, Madras or Hyderabad, Jenlin or Ro, Wilson or his loyal team, which opportunity would work best, a return to Straits Settlement Penang or the IG position. He can have any. He has friends in high places, is much admired, compassionate to a fault with subordinates and colleagues. Yet he dithers, even in his love life, unwilling to upset the status quo, till fate finds a way to lend a hand to iron out the mess. Perhaps the author wanted us to see that his hero is human after all.

 

Indisputably the historical period Brian Stoddart wrote of were turbulent times, an India transitioning, disagreements rife, but an exotic subcontinent all the same, a British empire in flux, whose fiction or non-fiction parts one does not have to agree with to like the novel, which left me with a wonderful feel of India and a taste for more of Le Fanu.

 

 

Interview with Rekha Valliappan – Fiona Mcvie

I was interviewed today, June 19, 2019, by Fiona Mcvie, for her Author’s Interviews series, posted on her blog. Link is here :

https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/here-is-my-interview-with-rekha-valliappan/

The Ghostly Green Luna – prose-poem

My prose poem ‘The Ghostly Green Luna’ was just published in Issue 124 of the Red Fez Literary Magazine. Link is here :

https://www.redfez.net/poetry/-the-ghostly-green-luna-2762

Garden of Saturn

My flash fiction ‘Garden of Saturn’ was out today, June 12, 2019, in Issue Nine of Bending Genres.  Link is here :

Garden of Saturn

Murder at Malabar Hill

My cozy murder mystery short story ‘Murder at Malabar Hill’ was newly posted online, May 2019, in Active Muse Literary Journal’s Suspense Issue. Link is here :

http://www.activemuse.org/2019_Suspense_Splissue_stories/Rekha_Valliappan.html

Filament of Dreams – Poem

I have a poem ‘Filament of Dreams’ in The Pangolin Review – Issue 10, May 20, 2019. Link is here :

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e869c8_567be8d8376d46aaa88949c1a1a3954c.pdf

Best Short Stories – The Oath of Brutus in Schlock! Quarterly

My science fiction short story ‘The Oath of Brutus’ is included in this collection of Best Short Stories by Schlock! Quarterly Spring 2019 print edition. JUST OUT!! This is my fifth BEST of all of my published pieces and my first story to go into REPRINT. (The same story was published in early March.)

Purchase Details are on Lulu, here :

http://www.lulu.com/shop/rogue-planet-press/schlock-quarterly-volume-3-issue-8/paperback/product-24076676.html?fbclid=IwAR0W0Rtb7eOoJK07FMI79EHBbpG8Lcb-q7g_s4sF0YxN9tlxAr8yqF7buLM

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