The Dragon, Fly and other flights of fancy
If short stories are your thing, pick this collection up! The worlds that Jilly drops the reader in are vast and varied.
Synopsis: A collection of SF and fantasy stories, with a touch of magic and horror.
- The Dragon, Fly She sits on a pillar of stone, a hermit in the desert, on a world called Teusza. Dragons live there too, beautiful, mystical creatures who cannot be harmed or killed by any weapons, and they feed and care for her. Who is she? Tyagi must climb that pinnacle if he wants an answer, risking falling or attack by the dragons.
- Playing Possum Melloney was a dancer, until she fell from a cliff and broke her back. Now paralysed and confined to a wheelchair, she has technology to be her hands and work all the house’s equipment. Alone, in a storm, is it enough to save her from the secret buried in her past?
- The Omnidirectional Woman Dr Lawrence Valentine has a new patient, Judith von Thal, who’s sent to him for psychological help after the death of her husband. He becomes obsessed with her, and when she tells him there are holes in space and she can walk through them, he thinks it’s just a symptom of her madness.
- Death and Cai-Lee McGeoghan Lost in a blizzard, Cai-Lee and her companions stumble into a system of caves. In a locked and forbidden room, Cai-Lee meets Death and makes a bargain with Her. Such things never end well!
- The Serpent’s Claw Rebekkah is rescued from slavery and becomes a novice in the Sisterhood of Grace, a feared religious order of assassins, but she has visions and has seen the order’s destruction. This is the story of Rebekkah’s life, her journey to the rank of Grand-Mother, leader of the Sisterhood.
- That Cold, Terrible Place Filled with Stars Dory is a Pilot, her body and mind Altered to link with her ship. She takes a passenger on what starts as a simple interplanetary trip and ends in an attack that almost kills her.
- The Bride carried Tigers Anji and Venn live on Earth, in a city that covers the whole world. They have food, shelter, freedom from disease and a simple, untroubled life – but is the cost of their utopia too high?
- La Belle Epoque and Twisting the Dragon’s Tail Two excerpts from novels about Anna-Marie Delany, an ex-actress turned spy, and her computer partner, Zenith Alpha 4013.
With a beautiful cover illustration by Morgan Fitzsimons.
My Thoughts: 114 pages of well-written fantasy, horror and science fiction. A couple of the stories may need some background knowledge of characters that Jilly has written about before, but you’d still be able to follow the story if you don’t have it.
Where to buy: Amazon sells it in kindle format for $1.99
Review: The Dragon, Fly is a collection of short stories and chapters from larger still to be released works by Jilly. The titles are as below and my thoughts on each accompany them.
The Dragon, Fly: The cover represents aspects of this story. It was great in terms of imagery, not so much in terms of capturing the reader by way of interesting plot, this was probably one of my least favourite of the bunch.
Playing Possum: A horror of sorts, I was intrigued at Jilly’s take on this genre. It wasn’t the creepiest of horror stories I’ve read, but it certainly had elements of a very creepy story.
The Omnidirectional Woman: Keeping along with the same sort of creepiness/danger/darkness I quite liked this story. I was at first a little unsure at the tone with the psychologist/Dr in this one, but that quickly gave way to intrigue in where this nasty little tale was taking me.
Death and Cai-Le McGeoghan: By far the most promising of the short stories I hadn’t been privy to before, the world these women find themselves in is a harsh one that I was interested in finding out more of. Happily, the next little tale delves more into this world.
The Serpent’s Claw: I think this was my favourite of all the stories in this collection. The mystery and reverence that this guild of women assassins has is great. It was an interesting, but too short glimpse into their world. I hope Jilly is going to pursue this tale and make it into something bigger and more complex, I’d buy it in a heart beat!
That Cold, Terrible place filled with stars: This intrigued me, it was a good bridge between the sultry and dangerous women in The Serpent’s Claw and the sci-fi aspects of the last few tales. I liked the protagonist, I liked the strength she showed and the confidence. A great little tale in deep space.
The bride carried Tigers: An interesting one. I was immediately interested in the science behind this one, alas being only a short story, meant I didn’t get to meander amongst the details, instead, I was thrust forward and into the complexity of this emotional tale.
Le Belle Epoque: Revisiting Anna and Zenni who are the main protagonists in To Die A Stranger, this story may not make a lot of sense to those who haven’t read the other tales about them, so perhaps pick up To Die a Stranger first?
Twisting the Dragon’s Tail: The same can me said about this tale of Anna and Zenni, even though I’d read To Die a Stranger, there were aspects of this short tale (as it’s from book #3 I believe) you’ll be missing a fair bit of background knowledge which may make this one even harder to grasp. A fair amount of prior knowledge is kind of assumed, but if you don’t have it, I think it’d still make a reasonable story.
All up, a pretty mixed bag of genres and tales from Jilly. If you like a bit of science fiction, fantasy and horror mixed in, pick this one up.