A little while ago I read Liber Malorum – Children of the Apple, a collection of short stories themed on “sex, drugs, witchcraft, anarchy and apples.” and I so enjoyed reading it that I promised Sean I would write a review.
Well its been a while now and I still haven’t written one and to be honest I’m not sure I can. For one thing I am one of the authors who actually have a short story in the book, so would it be right for me to review it? Well certainly not without pointing out my obvious bias it isn’t. In any case, a promise is a promise so I guess I ought to at least write some kind of opinion on this book.
The book basically contains a number of short stories by 23 authors, woven together with poems and extracts from Robert Anton Wilson, the Principia Discordia, Timothy Leary, William Blake, Hakim Bey, Peter J Carroll and various others, including a story by ‘The Weaver’, that comes in fragments woven in and out between the other stories.
At first I didn’t care much for Passion by DJ Lawrence. It reminded me of everything I was bored of in the Chaos Magic and left hand path occult scene. Arrogant magicians using guilty rationalisations to justify cursing people whose only crime was to upset said magicians oh so sensitive feelings. But actually, this story is not what it at first seems, and ultimately it is one of my favourite stories in the book. Its a shame no-one seems to have heard from DJ (and his website, chaosmagic.com is still 404) in a while as this story makes me want to congratulate him on a job well done.
Also worthy of mentions are:
- The Orchard of Becoming by Frater Kaotec, a brooding horror yarn with a nod to Lovecraft
- Diana Nemorensis by David Blank, a delightful fantasy involving eco warriors, bulldozers and the supernatural
- Queering the System by Jet Moon, a romantic comedy about gay anarcho-activists
- In Dreams of Gold by Jaq D Hawkins, a gripping fantasy adventure involving pirates and strange sea monsters…
- Avalons Apples by Stella Damiana, a tale about the whims of goddesses and the games they play with mortals, and of initiation to the mysteries
You definitely get your money’s worth with this book, and I highly recommend reading it if you get a chance. I first read it cover to cover, and a certain magic does unfold when you read it that way, although I expect in future readings I will return to my favourites in what ever order takes my fancy.