The Sea Was A Fair Master by Calvin Demmer


Published by Unnerving

4 stars


The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.

For the sea was a fair master.

Flash fiction has always been something of a mystery to me but I totally get it now, Demmer has brought together a collection of 23 of his short stories (flash fiction. It makes so much more sense now) or our reading pleasure.

They span across different sub-genres like sci-fi, horror and crime but they’re held together by a common thread of being unsettling as hell! Not only that, but they all have a gut-punch ending that still manages to be fresh each time.

My favourite stories were ‘Letting the Dead Grow’ and ‘The Snakes or the Humans?’, the former being straight up horror which gave me chills (not easily done) and the latter being a cross between sci-fi and a profound question set to a little girl.

I easily devoured this collection in one sitting, Demmer’s writing style is always compelling and easy to read. Like most collections, I liked some stories more than others especially as they were all so different from each other so the rating I’ve given takes this into account but I didn’t dislike a single one of them.

Demmer really is the author to watch in the horror genre, his stories manage to be familiar yet original every time.

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