The New York Review of Science Fiction just published a review of my collection Unseaming; I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever been mentioned in that journal. Reviewer Peter Rawlik has both praise and criticism to offer my book, but ultimately the raves outweigh the rants:
Unseaming is not a perfect collection, but overall, Mike Allen’s debut marks him as a writer to watch and should please fans of Laird Barron, Simon Strantzas, Richard Gavin, Caitlín Kiernan, and Gemma Files. Indeed, while Unseaming may not gain Allen a place on the faculty of what might be considered the school of the New Weird, it certainly places him on the Dean’s list for outstanding achievement.
I’ll take it. I’m sure honored to be listed in that company.
The review highlights most of the stories in the collection: “The Blessed Days,” “Humpty, “The Hiker’s Tale,” “Stone Flowers, “Condolences.” He singles out “The Button Bin,” “Let There Be Darkness,” “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” and “Monster” for in-depth praise. On the flip side, he contends that “An Invitation via E-mail” and “The Quiltmaker” don’t work, but with the latter story he concedes, “it is a valiant attempt at experimental storytelling … I can see the attraction that some have for the story.”