Wednesday 8 June 2022

Ghosts of Malta - edited by Lawdog - An Anthology Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 1

Ghosts of Malta
Edited by C.V. Walter
Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 1
ISBN 9798807804945

I enjoy reading anthologies for many reasons. First short form fiction is a very different art form than the novel. The writing needs to be tighter. The intent more purposeful, and the skill and craft needed is very different, at least for good short stories. Second I read a couple of anthologies a year to get introduced to new authors. In this case I was only familiar with one author prior to picking up the volume. I was introduced to Cedar Sandarson through Cracked: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories edited by Bokerah Brumley. I have since read a few volumes by her, and a few other contributors to that anthology. A dozen years ago I read Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci and within a year had read books by every contributor and all books by a few of the authors. So, I picked this up to enjoy Cedar’s offerings and hopefully a few other authors to pursue. It did not disappoint.

I was fairly familiar with Malta prior to picking up this volume. I have read extensively about the Knights of Saint John, or the Knights of Malta as they have been known. Both historically and their continuation to today as St John’s Ambulance. And also through the wonderful works of Fiorella de Maria, who has several stories with Maltese characters and a few of those stories that have events that take place on the Island Nation. I was intrigued by the collection, just based on the name of the book ‘Ghosts of Malta’ and the description picked my interest even more:

“Malta. Alchemists, Saints and Heroes have all made their way to this place, defended its walls, and added to its ranks of ghosts and lore.

Besieged, battered, and bombed, this archipelago has seen every tide of war, turmoil, and more than a few bits of piracy. It's also been the land of courage, resilience, and grace under fire.

Ten authors have set out to bring you tales of the ghosts of Malta past, present, and future. Open the pages and meet the ancient guardians, ghost cats and inter dimensional spies that will be your guide...”

Lawdog writes both the forward and a brief history that begin the pieces in this work. He states:

“I did not realize how this brief little throw-away passage that I wrote would capture the imaginations of my friends. I awoke the next day to demands for me to either write a novel about Malta, or chair an anthology about it.

I didn’t really think much about it, until I was at lunch with Jonna Hayden, and my friend challenged me to publish an anthology about Malta. I agreed to do so, secure in the notion that there wouldn’t be enough interested authors to give me enough stories to fill an anthology.

I was wrong. Boy, howdy, I was wrong, because it became rapidly apparent that I wouldn’t have enough stories for an anthology – I was getting enough stories for two anthologies about Malta.”

Having read this collection I only hope he does follow through with the second volume of stories of Malta.

The contributors are:

Brena Bock
Evan DeShais
JL Curtis
Kelly Grayson
Nicki Kenyon
Regan K. Smith

The stories are:

LawDog's Guide to Maltese History
Guardians of Malta
Speak the Word
The Alchemist of Malta
Cat of Malta
The Grandmaster’s Crypt
The Revenant and the Sorceress
The Finder
Breathe Free
The Sumdood Chronicles: Side Quest Malta

The stories are well written. A few were exceptional. Two of them even seem to follow each other with Cedar Sanderson’s ‘Cat of Malta’  following as a continuation  of Regan K. Smith’s ‘The Alchemist of Malta’. If I had to pick a favourite story it would either be Brena Bock’s ‘Guardians of Malta’ or Melissa McShane’s ‘Speak the Word’. But all of the stories wore worth the read. 

I feel there were possibly two things missing from the volume. First biographies of the contributors, with Links to preferred social media if available. And Second Maybe a piece about how to piece came to be. Apart from that I love the volume.

The stories are in a wide range of genres. I enjoyed each of them, and can easily recommend the anthology. It was a fun collection to read. And I am looking to track down other works from a couple of the contributors. This is a collection that I certain has something for all readers, and one guaranteed to entertain.

For reviews of other volumes by Cedar Sandarson click here.

Raconteur Press Anthologies Series:
Knights of Malta
Saints of Malta
Space Cowboys
Space Cowboys 2: Electric Rodeo
Space Marines
Falcons of Malta
Pinup Noir
Space Marines 2
Moggies In Space
Your Honor, I Can Explain
Space Cowboys 3: Return of the Bookaroo
Or All Will Burn
Moggies Back in Space
PinUp Noir 2
You See, What Happened Was...
Space Cowboys 404: Cow Not Found
He Was Dead When I Got There
Or All Will Burn: Fierce Love
Full Steam Ahead!
Giant! Freakin'! Robots!
Pinup Noir 3
Space Marines III

Raconteur Press Postcard Stories:
Postcards From Mars
Steam-Powered Postcards
Fanta-Fly Postcards
Postcards from Foolz
Single Servings of Liberty 
Imagine THAT! 
Last Call

Raconteur Press Anthologies 1-23

Raconteur Press Postcards Series 1-7


Evan DeShais said...

Thank you for the kind words. I enjoyed writing Finder.


Evan DeShais said...
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Evan DeShais said...
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Evan DeShais said...

This is one of those times where I hate being on cellular internet. I did not intend to post the same thing three times.