Margo Lanagan’s previous two collections of short stories, Black Juice and White Time have won awards and received wide acclaim. Now, Lanagan has released a third collection, continuing the trend of colour-themed titles. Red Spikesoffers ten diverse stories – diverse in content, setting, theme and more. Yet what binds them is the superb quality of Lanagan’s writing.
Lanagan is a master of the short story form and speculative fiction genre. She deals with a range of themes, though an exploration of spirituality is part of several stories, including Under Hell, Over Heaven where the setting is purgatory and Forever Upward which explores the distance between worshippers and their gods, and the ways they connect. Several of the stories are set in historical settings, drawing on stories of past times for inspiration.
This is a collection with something for every reader. Whilst the stories are largely aimed at young adult readers, with teen protagonists and some teen settings and scenarios, the stories will equally please the adult reader.
Red Spikes is superb reading.
Red Spikes, by Margo Lanagan
Allen & Unwin, 2007