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Price: $5.99 (eBook)
From the back cover:
'Prism' presents the best of Roland Allnach's newest stories together with his most acclaimed published short fiction. These selected stories fracture the reader's perceptions among a dazzling array of genres and styles to illuminate the mysterious aspects of the human experience.
'Roland Allnach has been described as a "star on the rise" (ForeWord Clarion), "a master storyteller with a powerful pen" (Cynthia Brian, NY Times Bestselling author), with writing that is "smart, elegant, and addicting" (San Francisco Review).'
For more, visit Roland Allnach's website at www.rolandallnach.com
Available in both print and Kindle formats.
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All Things That Matter Press
Roland Allnach author website
'Prism' combines author Roland Allnach's award winning published short fiction and new, previously unpublished fiction.
Author Roland Allnach's third book, 'Prism', combines his published, award winning short fiction with new, previously unpublished fiction. Intended as a one-stop volume for his writing outside of his other books, 'Prism' is a collection spanning diverse genres and narrative styles. From mainstream to speculative, from suspense to humor, from literary to long form verse, 'Prism' offers a compelling, unique reading experience.
'Prism' follows Allnach's first two books, the anthologies 'Remnant' and 'Oddities & Entities'. Together, these two titles have been recognized with a combined total of twelve national book awards, including placement in National Indie Excellence Awards, Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards, and Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards.
'Prism' consists of seventeen stories of diverse narrative styles and genres. The following selections are intended to display this range.
The critic hovered through the city's sprawling neon night like a dragonfly over a moonlit pond, unseen except for the shimmers he obscured with his outline. It was his way to move in such a fashion, to be in the midst of the desperate and disparate energy of that place and remain untouched, for the insulation of his apathy was both the most treasured and most despised aspect of his personality.
Nevertheless, the critic was well respected. In fact, he knew well enough his unspoken power in that place. He had the abiliity to lift the chosen few who sparked his curiosity, elevating them from obscurity with viable opportunities of success and acclaim. It was his way to redeem his own artistic failure with praise for those he adored, embodying them with a vicarious carte blanche of creative license. It was an old formula, he believed, an odd relationship between critics and the criticized; a very special bond. It was one he preferred. He could reslish it without having to risk opening his emotional barriers and abandon the rservations he felt restrained the less balanced aspects lurking within his nature.
From "Conquest's End":
Where to begin, now that the end of ends has come, that the march of ten years, ten years of blood fury and cold metal and razing fire, has come to the doorstep of that very place that has been sworn by wrathful parties not to be won or lost without sorrowful penalty, penalty to pale even all that has already passed with so much grief and lament?
Steady they march, the great columns of men in their red and black armor, trampling the green turf to dust as their Lord watches from a hill on high before the waning westerly sun. Long have they marched across the Three Kingdoms of the world, leaving only the choice of capitulation or carnage in their wake. They have marched until there was no prize left on which to march, and so their Lord led them across the Endless River, against the ceaseless gusting of the Tundra's Tongues' dry winds, to cross the Meadows of Morrow and the gray Sea of Senliity, to disembark for this last march.
From "Turn the Wheel":
It was a day that started like any other. It was Summer time up in the hills where we lived, and I'd spend my time ridin' my dirt bike in the woods. I miss those times, ridin' alone with the popcorn-whine of the bike's two-cycle engine. Usually those times was good times, bein' out on my own with nobody yellin' at me, but the partiular day of this tellin' it wasn't so good. I was standin' on the foot pegs of my bike, ridin' the way I always did. My dridin' friends, they thought I was kind of crazy ridin' like that all the time, because my butt hardly ever touched the seat. Really, though, it was one of those little half-lies, of which there was many. Most times, it just hurt too much to sit on the seat.
My Ma caught me that mornin', caught me sleepin' after Pa went off to the bike shop. She come in my little room and like usual she started swingin', ambushin' me before I woke up. It was always that first shot that stung the most, and she always made a point of plantin' it right on my ass, so none other would know she done it. I got wise to her though, usually makin' sure I was up and out of there before she rose from her whiskey coma to take out another day of misery on me.
Review of 'Prism' by F.T. Donereau for Rebecca's Reads
Author Roland Allnach, in his new collection of stories, titled, “Prism,” has taken the risk of alienating readers with too varied a selection of genres. Everything is in the stew here: futuristic tales, love stories, horror, on and on, filling the pot with all manner of ingredients. How easily this might have backfired. After all, how many of us indulge in so many different styles of storytelling? At first I wondered why in the world Mr. Allnach would do it. The answer, in my mind, has now become a simple thing: he is blessed with an abundance of imagination, and either could not contain it, or, wisely I now believe, chose not to. Here you have the splendor of falling into worlds wholly designed by the author, then finding others more grounded in real life scenarios. You have heartbreak and fear and love and Sci-Fi. You have, in the end, pure, unadulterated creativity. And what (in this case, nothing, absolutely nothing) could be wrong with that.
Mr. Allnach surprises with each new story here. You must open your mind to difference, to receiving your entertainments in different forms. It can be hard for a reader to do this; we are trained to hold one plate of food at a time. If such habits can be put aside, “Prism” will shatter you into countries that glimmer, stories that entrance. The themes of life are the same no matter how they are presented. If prejudices are put in a drawer, locked from sight and ability to interfere, you will be given hours of pleasure. Roland Allnach is a storyteller. He can conjure and feed the head things that keep a reader turning pages. You have pieces like, Icon, an interior work, hard boiled, wherein a modern day, unnamed `Critic' exposes the price of obsession, the pain of exploitation. Later, you come upon, Titalis, a story which draws a world long gone, an ancient place of hills and plains and war and warriors. The grit of it can be tasted, the actuality of what no longer exists, brought alive fully. With, Turn of the Wheel, Allnach uses colloquial language, a first person narrator, plain spoken, to give a straight forward, morbid account of family tragedy. Something for everyone? More like everything for anyone in love with fine literature.
“Prism” is a book of stories written with precision. It does not dance with overwrought stylings. Instead it chisels out what is needed with laser description, true to the ear dialogue, characters built into believability, and stories that capture the attention. Forget about picking the genre you're most attracted to; widen the avenues, take all of them in. Doing so will give what is most wanted: the pleasure of living tales un-lived before. Mr. Allnach is no light weight. Below the surface of many of his stories things are swimming that must be thought about to be discovered. Layers are important because they reveal. This collection is to be savored, read again and gain. The gift received for your time will be enormous. More, and better than that, it will be fun.
Review of 'Prism' by Amy Lignor of Feathered Quill Book Reviews
When you think of the word, 'prism,' you think of glass; that triangular shape with refracting surfaces at acute angles that separate white light into a spectrum of colors. It is not an overstatement to say that this author, with this collection of the best of his short stories along with his newest creations, is most definitely that 'spark' of pages that shoots a spectrum of colors through the mind and imagination.
There are too many to delve into for a review, so selecting some of the most extraordinary (which was difficult, considering the writing never fails to entertain), is what to do in order to attempt to frame the pictures that Allnach has created.
In the very beginning the reader opens to the world of a soldier; a soldier who is in thought, considering he's all that’s left of what everyone assumed would be a triumphant army. The promise of this battle to the people had been that it would be swift - with the golden armored soldiers making sure to defeat a smaller, less-armed, less-experienced culture that was basically fighting with passion. There are morals here galore, with the foundation
telling that money and nobility do not equal success when put up against a man who lives and dies for their beliefs. Readers watch the solider deal with his survival, deal with his own valor, and stay loyal to his oath to protect a city that he can no longer defend. Among him his madness, savages, and a woman who needs that soldier’s protection no matter what the cost. The tale is "After the Empire," and the plot is vivid, dramatic, and extremely enticing.
A young boy sits in the classroom, like most, bored with the reality of school. Engaging his imagination the boy becomes "The Great Hunter," heading into a world through his drawings and mind, where predators must be slain...and perhaps where new prey can be found back in reality.
Bone-chilling fear makes the reader want to hide under their own bed in "Creep." William, the grad student who has found a once-in-a-lifetime discovery and rushes to share the news with his Professor in "Apogee," learns the valuable lesson that when something comes once, perhaps it is the most loved and most supportive person in your life who should head the news...making one of those moments that rarely happen during a lifetime. The 5-Acts of "Titalis" take the reader's breath away, as a journey to a place of lost glory is taken,
where minds and souls work and play.
On and on this collection goes, with tales for literally everyone's tastes. Each genre is spoken for - from the Technicolor world of sci-fi to humor to horror to fantasy, and beyond. Allnach has a voice that speaks so loud readers lose themselves in the stories, making this a whole lot of fun!
Quill says: Just like a prism, this is a dazzling collection.
Review of 'Prism' by Jason Lulos of Pacific Book Review
Quite an intriguing and thought-provoking storyteller. Each piece in this collection is literally and figuratively engaging. In short, Allnach's abilities as a storyteller in transporting the reader to fantastic worlds is obvious, but these tales also lend themselves to allegorical comparison with current issues, private to sociological. The wide cast of characters in this collection range from the pathetic to the triumphant to the homicidal and psychotic. The collection could have aptly been called “Tragedy and Comedy” but that would have been too cliché. There is plenty of tragedy, some comedy, numerous elements of the surreal and always with hints of suspense. He keeps you guessing. In this collection, you will find short stories reminiscent of Poe's style of the grotesque, troubled mind. You will also find epic poetry, Shakespearean tragedy, and occasionally some comic relief. There is something for everyone, but the roads in most of these stories dark and paradoxically laden with hope and hopelessness.
The final story, “Dissociated” is on the cyclic nature of things, writing, and life. A nice way to close, considering the first story, “After the Empire,” is about the end of things. Although there is a wide range of issues and genres in Prism, there is the sense of a continuum, much like a concept album where the songs exist on their own but somehow synthesize together. The soldier in “After the Empire” willingly fights for a lost cause. The protagonist in “11” fights against his own subconscious. The critic in “Icon” fights against the media's sycophantic infatuation with celebrity; and thereby fights against himself. So, there is this continuum of struggle, reflection, rebuilding, reconciliation. In “Memento,” Henry tries to reconcile by reaching out to his enemy's family. Internal psychological struggle and actual war parallel each other like the two faces of a prism, with multiple angles of introspection and allegorical interpretation on the sides. Dark as they are, they invite the reader to look at struggle as difficulty but also as an accepted challenge, and there is optimism in that pessimism. It's not all Sisyphean. Allnach provides levity with the nose-picker in “The Great Hunter” and the poem “Tumbleweed” otherwise titled “An Ode to a Well Endowed Gunslinger.”
I have to mention “Beheld” as a really interesting look on creation itself. But where Allnach really goes out on a limb is with “Titalis” and “Typhon and Aerina.” Titalis is a tragedy with Shakespearean themes and the flowery language to boot. “Typhon and Aerina” is an epic poem written in classical style. This makes an interesting juxtaposition in the collection; so much science fiction is set in the future, but these are ambiguous as they could be in the distant past, the distant future, or in some parallel universe. This calls to mind the Family Guy mockery of Star Wars noting the tale is “in a galaxy far, far away but somehow in the future.” Kidding aside, this is the mark of a good science fiction writer; to give tales some linear ambiguity, leaving it up to the reader to decide if they've already happened or have yet to be.
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