Praise for the Short Fiction of Misha Burnett

Saturday , 8, July 2017 5 Comments

Misha Burnett’s story in Cirsova #5 continues to turn heads. Here’s only the latest positive review:

Five issues on, and Cirsova is keeping up with its high standard. Even tho the large chunk of this issue is based around this same shared fictional background, stories are as varied in theme, tone and style as ever, with now usual mixture of new authors and zine veterans. Burnett’s short piece stole the show for me. In this age of ‘subversive’ takes on Lovecraft, it is surprising to see one such story in a magazine like this one, one that is actually good at what it does unlike many a thematically similar yet preachy and cringe-inducing piece whose fame lies on its fashionable themes alone.

Over on Google+, Misha responds:

I’m rather surprised by how much good ink “In The Gloaming” is getting. I wrote that story as a deliberate pastiche of the EC Horror comics that I grew up with (and the pre-code reprints that came out in the 80s). It’s probably the most derivative thing I’ve ever written, and certainly one of the easiest–I think it took me an afternoon, once I came up with basic idea.

Well, there are several explanations for this. Consider the effortless quality that comes through in the best Motown recordings. Those were first rate jazz musicians that were relaxing, kicking back with very straightforward changes. The amount of verve packed into those songs is just plain striking.

But as Nathan Housley points out, the type of writing Misha is emulating really are magic. And as Kevyn Winkless puts it, there is basically a hole in the education of the typical contemporary author. Take all these things and put them together and yes, Misha Burnett’s story really does have disportionate impact compared to how it would have played decades ago when familiarity with the fantasy and science fiction canon was something you could take for granted.

This is good stuff… and people want more!

5 Comments
  • John E. Boyle says:

    Bravo, Mr. Burnett.

  • Rawle Nyanzi says:

    Seconded. You’re going places, Misha.

  • Wow. Thank you. This has been a good year for me in short fiction, I should have pieces coming out in several collections over the next few months.

  • Jon Mollison says:

    Can confirm. I thought I was done with multi-volume fantasies, then he sucked me in with the Book of Lost Doors quadrology. I’m halfway through the third volume and will probably wait to read the last one just to prolong the pleasure. I’m going to be sad when I’m done.

  • john silence says:

    It’s weird, really. If you tried to summarize that story, it really could sound like your typical Nightmare Magazine or Lovecraft eZine offering (latter in its recent mutation, it actually offered good fiction once). But, in this case, the way in which the subject of sexuality is used results in emotionally impactful horror story, rather than in kinky and/or soapy message fiction.

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