The 900 Club – Simon’s Pick of 2013

2013 was The 900 Club’s first year and a great one.  We thought it would be a good exercise for each of us to pick our favourite 900 Club stories from 2013 and share them with you. Our founding member, Simon Evans, was first. Below are his favourite stories from each of us from 2013.

Adam – ‘The Walk‘. I love this story. The atmosphere is so tangible, it really gets under my skin. The family walk is full of little phrases and glances which say so much about their relationships. This close, often melancholic but overwhelmingly hopeful, scrutiny of people is something that I find really appealing in Adam’s writing. The looming darkness throughout the story is encapsulated wonderfully by the lines; ‘I imagine the boy in there, amongst the reeds, looking at the dragonflies, unable to close his eyes. I hope we don’t find him.’ Those lines are inspired, like poetry.

John – ‘The Phone Call‘. This is another story with an elephant in the room, or, in this case, a man on a balcony. The growing panic and frustration of the  999 call gives the story the feeling of an anxiety dream. A damning indictment of modern society – while the Kafka-esque bureaucracy slowly churns humanity takes a sickening dive. The image of the unknown figure on the balcony has a chilling 9/11 falling man quality to it. A gripping read.

Martin – ‘Dinner Time of the Gods‘ because it’s fucking hilarious. When Martin is in full play time with his writing it really smacks me hard on the funny bone. I could have picked several stories but this one confused me at first which made me laugh that much more when I realised what he’d done. Martin’s imagination is a grotesque clown, riddled with gleeful ridiculousness. Evidence of this can be found elsewhere with a gnome riding a spaniel, a bollock tree, mid air births and a man turning into a grasshopper. Martin’s blog about his dreams shows a glimpse of his sub conscious  thought furnace in action.

Paul – ‘The Hedonism Return‘. One of Paul’s other 900 club submissions paid homage to Iain Banks, one of his/our favourite authors. This story reminds me of a Banks novel. It is slick, sexy, edgy and it draws you in. And like all the best Iain Banks novels, there’s a sting in the tail, literally.

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