“Storm Damage” – by John A. A. Logan

Cover ImageAn anthology of ten fables which cover ground from the fictitious Scottish space program to the adventures of an orange pig in the company of wolves, Storm Damage seems to hint at questions which it asks the reader to elaborate on and answer; if an answer is possible.

Starting off with the unusual Unicorn One, a hairdresser from Glasgow becomes the first in space for the much maligned Scottish space program. The story is carried forward with a particularly mundane narrative given the topic. Personally, I like to think of this story as a statement about the cult of celebrity. The absurdity of a hairdresser becoming an astronaut for reasons of photogenicity is compounded when Russia also wants to claim her as spokesperson. I’m left remembering the countless times that celebrity has been sufficient to give someone a platform for which they are unqualified.

Late Testing is a nasty little tale using the cruelty inflicted on an individual and the rationalisation of that act as representative of a larger crime, that of the mass slaughter of war; property as rationalisation for murder. This was one of the more dramatic stories of this anthology with a powerful message and I appreciated the images the author used in the telling.

The Magenta Tapestry looks at the rise and fall of the U.S.S.R. through a bloody fable of revenge. The Airman may have been a message about making peace with the horror of the Dresden bombings. The Pond explores the value we place on obsession through the story of a wealthy man attempting to make a deal with a old rival. And the title story, Storm Damage, is a bitter look at how powerless we are against the people and institutions who wish to feed off us, and that our simple wishes mean nothing to those who would exploit.

Not all stories won me over. I found the more traditionally written fable of The Orange Pig not quite to my taste and accordingly, I don’t think I found a meaning that suited me while reading. Additionally the last story, Sometimes all the World Comes Down, was another disjointed metaphysical exercise that I seem to come across more often as the last work of an anthology. I rarely appreciate them and this case was no exception.

However, this anthology proved again why I enjoy this author. He has a habit of making me work a little harder to connect with his message. But even if I feel I’m floundering, I can still sense something underneath the writing that may be apparent to more intelligent readers than myself. His narratives are often quite prosaic – such as in Unicorn One and the title story, but here he has also demonstrated some more poetic elements and imagery with Late Testing.

I reviewed Logan’s novel The Survival of Thomas Ford last year (review here) and I found it to be a great experience, giving the book an honourable mention in the 2012 Papyrus Independent Fiction Award (announcement here).

Rating: 4/5

Price at the time of review: $2.99 US

Available: Amazon

Author site: http://johnaalogan.wordpress.com/
GoodReads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15986147-storm-damage

This entry was posted in 4, Anthology, General Fiction, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Storm Damage” – by John A. A. Logan

  1. Hi Caleb,
    Great review for a great book. John Logan is certainly an author who is worth following.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>