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Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren

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Australian author Kaaron Warren is widely recognized as one of the leading writers today of speculative and dark short fiction. She’s published four novels, multiple novellas, and well over one hundred heart-rending tales of horror, science fiction, and beautiful fantasy, and is the first author ever to simultaneously win all three of Australia’s top speculative fiction wr Australian author Kaaron Warren is widely recognized as one of the leading writers today of speculative and dark short fiction. She’s published four novels, multiple novellas, and well over one hundred heart-rending tales of horror, science fiction, and beautiful fantasy, and is the first author ever to simultaneously win all three of Australia’s top speculative fiction writing awards (Ditmar, Shadows, and Aurealis awards for The Grief Hole). Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to her work, the second in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the distinct voice of Kaaron Warren, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich. Included within these pages are: • Six short stories, one written exclusively for this book • Author interview • Complete bibliography • Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD (former humanities chair and professor of the year, Seton Hill University) • … and more! Enter this doorway to the vast and fantastic: Get to know Kaaron Warren. ### And read all the volumes in the series, listed here! ### "A fascinating study for fans seeking new reads and for librarians developing wide-ranging collections." —Library Journal "Refreshing and much-needed... Addresses significant themes and figures within the horror field." —Locus Magazine #


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Australian author Kaaron Warren is widely recognized as one of the leading writers today of speculative and dark short fiction. She’s published four novels, multiple novellas, and well over one hundred heart-rending tales of horror, science fiction, and beautiful fantasy, and is the first author ever to simultaneously win all three of Australia’s top speculative fiction wr Australian author Kaaron Warren is widely recognized as one of the leading writers today of speculative and dark short fiction. She’s published four novels, multiple novellas, and well over one hundred heart-rending tales of horror, science fiction, and beautiful fantasy, and is the first author ever to simultaneously win all three of Australia’s top speculative fiction writing awards (Ditmar, Shadows, and Aurealis awards for The Grief Hole). Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to her work, the second in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the distinct voice of Kaaron Warren, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich. Included within these pages are: • Six short stories, one written exclusively for this book • Author interview • Complete bibliography • Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD (former humanities chair and professor of the year, Seton Hill University) • … and more! Enter this doorway to the vast and fantastic: Get to know Kaaron Warren. ### And read all the volumes in the series, listed here! ### "A fascinating study for fans seeking new reads and for librarians developing wide-ranging collections." —Library Journal "Refreshing and much-needed... Addresses significant themes and figures within the horror field." —Locus Magazine #

36 review for Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vivian Metzger

    Excellent series idea, discussing authors. Much needed. Happy with books I've read so far in the series. Excellent series idea, discussing authors. Much needed. Happy with books I've read so far in the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Tam

    Really great introduction to a new author I hadn't read before. I'll be getting more into her work next! Really great introduction to a new author I hadn't read before. I'll be getting more into her work next!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Diak

    A Primer to Kaaron Warren is the second book in the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series of books being published by Dark Moon Books (with last year’s primer on Steve Rasnic Tem being the first). The Kaaron Warren primer acts as a collection of six of her short stories – one of them being exclusive to this collection – along with associated commentaries, essays and bibliographies. If one is not sure where to start in exploring the literature of Warren, this primer certainly makes it easy. Of the s A Primer to Kaaron Warren is the second book in the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series of books being published by Dark Moon Books (with last year’s primer on Steve Rasnic Tem being the first). The Kaaron Warren primer acts as a collection of six of her short stories – one of them being exclusive to this collection – along with associated commentaries, essays and bibliographies. If one is not sure where to start in exploring the literature of Warren, this primer certainly makes it easy. Of the six stories collected in the primer, the first two, “Guarding the Mound” and “Born and Bread” are the two most stand out. “Guarding the Mound” has shades of neo-peplum to it, in the vein of prehistory pepla found in films such as Apocalypto (2006, Mel Gibson) and 10,000 BC (2008, Roland Emmerich). In this story, a young, small person known as Din becomes tasked with guarding the tomb of a village chieftain. The story deals with different concepts of immortality, in a Zygmunt Bauman sense, as Din sires many children to continue his legacy in the world of the living, while in turn he remains forever entombed. “Born and Bread” takes on a fairy tale or folklore feeling as it is about a young lady named Doe, who has a bread-like body. The story is full of baking and bread puns and allusions, but it never becomes tiresome or causes a groan from the reader. Doe is a sincere character, who uses her baking powers to rid the community of a nasty, undead old man. Of the stories in the primer, it is perhaps the most optimistic, and in the spirit of baking metaphors, the story is a delicious treat. “The Wrong Seat” also contains shades of lightheartedness, but in a different way. A woman, Moira, is the victim of circumstance as she slashed in the throat on a bus. She haunts the bus, using her stenchy phantasmagoric powers to force her presence into the world. One feels sorry for Moira, as she is portrayed very naive and genuinely kind. She makes for a lovely ghost. After “The Wrong Seat” the primer turns to more serious and ambitious fare with “Sins of the Ancestors” and “Crisis Apparition”, the latter of which was composed specifically for this book. While both stores are well written, when contrasted to the stories that make up the first half of the primer, they seem to lose a bit of accessibility. These are stories that command much more from the reader, a steeper learning curve in some regards. To assist in comprehending these stories, Dark Moon Books has solicited the help of Michael Arnzen who returns to provide commentary and insight for each story. The commentaries span only a few pages, but provide additional ideas on how to interpret and digest the stories. At the end of the primer, Arnzen sums up Warren’s auteur-ness in an essay, spotlighting why she is important and stands out in the field of dark fiction. Aside from a colloquial interview between editor Guignard and Warren, the primer ends with a revised presentation from Warren on how to finalize one’s short story. The suggestions and examples provided within are invaluable to those seeking advice from an established and revered short story writer. As with the Steven Rasnic Tem primer, Dark Moon Books has assembled a great primer that acts as a starting point to not only the works of Warren, but of the author herself. The biographical and interviewed details contain within make Warren seem approachable, earnest and interesting. The stories themselves are unique and fun as the author herself is.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Agranoff

    Last year when the first Exploring Dark Short Fiction Primer book was released featuring a tribute to Steve R Tem I was excited about the potential of these. Before I get into the content let me tell about the series. These are beautiful books, they look amazing and the quality of the production is some of the best I have seen by a independent publisher. When you add the commentary by PH.D Michael Arnzen, everything from the lay-out, to the art is top notch. When you add it to the amazing fictio Last year when the first Exploring Dark Short Fiction Primer book was released featuring a tribute to Steve R Tem I was excited about the potential of these. Before I get into the content let me tell about the series. These are beautiful books, they look amazing and the quality of the production is some of the best I have seen by a independent publisher. When you add the commentary by PH.D Michael Arnzen, everything from the lay-out, to the art is top notch. When you add it to the amazing fictional content you have incredible value at $13.95. Each book comes with six stories, commentary, interviews, artwork and more. So this book is dedicated to the work of the Australian Author Kaaron Warren who I had only read once before. I gave her debut novel Slights 5/5 in 2010. At the time I said "Slights is disturbing and the most original psychological horror novel I read in years. It seems very Chuck Palahniuk influenced." So I was way overdue to read more work by the author and excited to check out her short fiction. One of the exciting aspects of this series is you get a chance to meet the author. Reading this book you get to know Kaaron Warren comes just as much from her story as her introduction as you do the interview. I didn't know that this author grew up around Hare Khrisnas. This lead to an author who thinks out of the mainstream. Warren's tales are not predictable and are hard to pin as traditional even though she often picks one of the oldest tropes in horror the ghost tale. This book alone has several interesting and thoughtful takes on ghosts. The collection kicks off with a really strong fantasy "Guarding the Mound" that has a epic scope that plays with the eternity of the after-life and manages to make a subtle statement about patriarchy. Other highlights for me includes "the Wrong Seat" and "Crisis Apparition." "The Wrong Seat" is very short but powerful story about a ghost that haunts the bus she was murdered on. "Crisis Apparition" is a story that Warren talks about in the interview. Reading about the inspiration and seeing how she wove it into a story is really great way for young authors to learn about short story construction. That is the thing, this is a entertaining book, the stories are great. You will learn about the author but as much as it is primer for the author it is also a great education tool for short fiction in general. Editor Eric Guignard is doing exciting stuff with this series and Dark Moon Books in general. He is one of the hardest working folks in the indie horror scene and it is paying off. His name on a book is a mark of quality. This series is just starting but in a few years I suspect these books will help a new generation of authors learn the ropes. Either way Dark Moon books is raising the bar, good news for all horror fans.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen (LOHF/Book Den)

    I'm starting my Women in Horror Month reviews with a highly recommended read. A Primer to Kaaron Warren contains six short stories by Kaaron Warren, an essay on "Why Karron Warren Matters" by Micheal Arnzen, an interview with Kaaron Warren, and essay by Kaaron Warren titled "Tips for Finalizing Your Short Story", and more. This was my first experience reading Kaaron Warren's work. I have a couple of her novels (one fantasy and one horror) on my shelves that I am really anxious to read. Her stories I'm starting my Women in Horror Month reviews with a highly recommended read. A Primer to Kaaron Warren contains six short stories by Kaaron Warren, an essay on "Why Karron Warren Matters" by Micheal Arnzen, an interview with Kaaron Warren, and essay by Kaaron Warren titled "Tips for Finalizing Your Short Story", and more. This was my first experience reading Kaaron Warren's work. I have a couple of her novels (one fantasy and one horror) on my shelves that I am really anxious to read. Her stories in this Primer were unlike any stories I've read before. I loved her voice, her imagination, and the feminist slant to her horror. Like the previous book in the Exploring Dark Fiction series (A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem), Michael Arnzen provides literary analysis/commentary after each story. I love the setup of this series. They are also illustrated by Michelle Prebich. They truly are beautiful books inside and out. If you are looking for a woman horror writer to celebrate during Women in Horror Month (or after!!) or short fiction to read this month for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Readathon, I highly recommend A Primer to Kaaron Warren. The stories in this collection made my dark heart happy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shawn C. Baker

    I absolutely LOVED this book, my introduction to the author. Each successive story in Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren hooked me deeper, beginning with Guarding the Mound, a story that reminded me quite a bit of one of the one-off stories I love so much from Neil Gaimen’s Sandman. After that I found the book hard to put down - even though I had a few weeks away thanks to my own writing - and when I was finally able to re-engage, I whipped through the remainder, increasi I absolutely LOVED this book, my introduction to the author. Each successive story in Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren hooked me deeper, beginning with Guarding the Mound, a story that reminded me quite a bit of one of the one-off stories I love so much from Neil Gaimen’s Sandman. After that I found the book hard to put down - even though I had a few weeks away thanks to my own writing - and when I was finally able to re-engage, I whipped through the remainder, increasingly spellbound until... Crisis Apparition, easily my favorite story in the set and a gorgeous tale of otherworldly unease that features a very real protagonist, a character as flawed and believable as any I’ve encountered in fiction. Highly recommended for lovers of story, tone and characters with real-world depth.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Judi

    Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2 for Kaaron Warren. This Primer is second in the series and a great study of another author of short stories, highlighting some of her best work and explaining the author’s importance. This is an indie book, and amazing quality. All the sections are illustrated, and besides the short story fiction, there is an interesting interview, essay written by the author, commentary on the works, and more. 5 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... (copy from @ericjguignard and voluntarily reviewed) I’m only vaguely aware of Kaaron Warren’s fiction through her contribution to numerous short story anthologies and magazines that I’ve read over the years. I’m the kind of reader who loves to know an author inside out so this Primer really appealed to me. The six stories in this book are completely new to me and I enjoyed every one of them. I also enjoyed the fact that each story comes with a little comme https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... (copy from @ericjguignard and voluntarily reviewed) I’m only vaguely aware of Kaaron Warren’s fiction through her contribution to numerous short story anthologies and magazines that I’ve read over the years. I’m the kind of reader who loves to know an author inside out so this Primer really appealed to me. The six stories in this book are completely new to me and I enjoyed every one of them. I also enjoyed the fact that each story comes with a little commentary about the appeal of the story. I loved the interview with Warren. The only thing that let this down is the complete bibliography which takes up quite a lot of pages. The space could have been better spent with some more interviews or insight.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eugen Bacon

    This book is a tribute to Kaaron Warren, an important writer of dark fiction you dare not ignore. Such otherness exists in the inimitable collection that Warren’s Exploring Dark Short Fiction is distinctive. Its stories harbour ghosts with souls—they are curious, questioning, on a quest to expose an elemental truth. Stories are surreal in meaning, affluent in the escapism they afford. As the author finds fascination with the act of sex, explores sexuality and empowers women, the reader encounter This book is a tribute to Kaaron Warren, an important writer of dark fiction you dare not ignore. Such otherness exists in the inimitable collection that Warren’s Exploring Dark Short Fiction is distinctive. Its stories harbour ghosts with souls—they are curious, questioning, on a quest to expose an elemental truth. Stories are surreal in meaning, affluent in the escapism they afford. As the author finds fascination with the act of sex, explores sexuality and empowers women, the reader encounters a feminist vein that is neither obvious nor distracting.

  10. 4 out of 5

    L. Zedda-Sampson

    I adored this book. I bought it because it was Kaaron Warren's, not because I knew anything about it (being honest!). I presumed it to be a collection of short fiction, but it was so much more. It was an introduction to Kaaron Waaren and her writing as well as the stories. The book included a thoughtful introduction by Eric J. Guignard, an interview, personal reflections, and tips for writing short stories. What I loved most were the stories and how they were presented. Each one was preceded by I adored this book. I bought it because it was Kaaron Warren's, not because I knew anything about it (being honest!). I presumed it to be a collection of short fiction, but it was so much more. It was an introduction to Kaaron Waaren and her writing as well as the stories. The book included a thoughtful introduction by Eric J. Guignard, an interview, personal reflections, and tips for writing short stories. What I loved most were the stories and how they were presented. Each one was preceded by an artwork and closed with a summation by Michael Arnzen, PHD. The three things - the artwork, story and summation - somehow blended together to enrich the story, making what were originally great stories even better. My favourite was 'Death's Door Cafe'. I will be looking at the others in this series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bianca (Belladonnabooks)

    This collection blew my mind. I have never experienced any of Kaaron Warren’s work before and am in awe of her writing abilities. The stories were incredibly unique, written from a feminist lens (love), character driven and contained beautiful prose. I honestly enjoyed all the 6 stories but I have some favourites in this 6 story collection: 💀Guarding the mound A coming of age tale about one young man’s ultimate sacrifice. 💀Born and bread My favourite. Based on a Russian fairy tale (Sivka Burka). 💀De This collection blew my mind. I have never experienced any of Kaaron Warren’s work before and am in awe of her writing abilities. The stories were incredibly unique, written from a feminist lens (love), character driven and contained beautiful prose. I honestly enjoyed all the 6 stories but I have some favourites in this 6 story collection: 💀Guarding the mound A coming of age tale about one young man’s ultimate sacrifice. 💀Born and bread My favourite. Based on a Russian fairy tale (Sivka Burka). 💀Deaths door cafe A story about having another possible chance at life. Thank you so much to the publisher, Dark Moon Books for the free copy of this wonderful collection in exchange for an honest review. I had a a great time delving into some of Kaaron Warren’s work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anita Patel

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amba

  14. 4 out of 5

    Faith Dincolo

  15. 4 out of 5

    virginia weir

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Anderson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eric Guignard

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meerkat Press

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Stewart

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Flores

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steven Paulsen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Santiago Eximeno

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Joseph Schumann

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tricia Guest

  26. 4 out of 5

    Otchen Makai

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andyhat

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessi Guggenheim

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert Grant

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Read

  31. 5 out of 5

    D.K. Hundt

  32. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  33. 5 out of 5

    Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius

  34. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

  35. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Brown

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jeanna Massman

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