In the Beauty we meet a small group of men who live in a valley, it is peaceful, and safe. Ok that’s nice and cozy, and they all feel like part of a group. The downside is there are no more women left in the world, and why they died is sort of a mystery. Suddenly this isn’t so cozy anymore. Stranger yet is the fact that mushrooms seem to be growing in the ground above their graves. These mushrooms aren’t the edible sort, they are odd and look like a head without any features. Ok, that is flipping creepy as hell. What possible significance could there be for them to grow above a grave site. The mushrooms are growing from the remains of the buried women! That’s really disturbing. Is this some kind of Frankenstein creation or a new life form? Well, kind of, and they end up living with them men and replace women who have become extinct. Ok what the hell is this craziness!
I typically love dystopian stories, but I had a hard time getting into this one. I would have loved to see the mushroom creatures become some form of a zombie or other creature I’ve never read about before. But the men are all about having thesem monstrosities as their new partners, wifes or girlfriends. I really struggled to get into this developement and the characters were equally hard to connect or care about. I was lost and I wasn’t sure where the story was going or what the plot was about. Just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any more strange, the men start to wear the women’s dresses and have babies. Again, what the double hell is going on? I think this is the oddest story I’ve read before. If anyone has read this book and understands it would you be so kind as to break it down for me.
Length: 112 Pages
Publisher: Unsung Stories
Release date: September 1, 2014
Blurb: In a post-apocalyptic world where all the women have died a group of men and boys survive. The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its aural roots and the power of words is strong.
Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the woods. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? What about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods? And what of mushrooms like heads, on the graves of women?
Discover the Beauty.
This story is a dark slice of the New Weird, encompassing dystopian post-apocalyptic ction, dark fairy tale and horror. Whiteley’s prose is poetic and elegiac, weaving the beautiful and macabre, etching razor-
sharp observations on love, loss and what women, mothers, sisters, lovers, mean.
Readers should be advised this title contains mature themes.
Aliya Whiteley, Biography-
Born in Devon in 1974, Aliya took a degree in Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University in the early 1990s and has been writing since then. She’s lived all over the UK and in Germany. Her stories are violent, terrifying, tender, and funny. They have receivedmuch critical praise, from The Boston Globe to Tangent, and havegarnered accolades such as The Drabblecast People’s Choice Award,runner-up in the Guardian’s Short Short Story competition, and in 2012 she was the runner up in the British Fantasy Society short story competition.
Connect with Aliya Whiteley at the following links