Rob Gray, intrepid Senior Editor and the man who month in and month our produces those NC at the Movies pieces, has just won the $25,000 Thomas Raddall Fiction Award for his marvellous short story collection Entropic.
Here are the jury notes:
“Each story in R. W. Gray’s edgy, inventive collection is a gem in and of itself, sparkling with its own wit and inner logic. These are stories that render the intangible tangible, taking us over the edge but never hitting bottom. They explore our deepest desires and anxieties and explode them to arrive at unexpected but weirdly connected and coherent conclusions. Gray’s economy of language expands the universe as we travel seamlessly in and out of our inner, chaotic thoughts into the surreal realm of dreams.”
I wrote a cover blurb. It went like this:
“R. W. Gray writes like nobody else; risky, edgy, erotic, subversive, even macabre short stories, very contemporary, coded with solitude, but reaching for myth, always beautiful and astonishing.”
Rich Farrell reviewed the book here. Here’s a bit of what he wrote:
“Gray is deconstructing the weight-bearing walls of the Western canon, subverting its appeal, questioning its meaning. Homer and Joyce and Christ himself are fair game, because in many ways, we remain trapped by these myths. Using an uncanny narrative, Gray reminds us that great stories can never be fully told or defined. We have wandered into the wonderful, swirling stew of entropy, where Gray challenges the very expectation of what a short story can do. He reexamines form, whether taking the conventional love story and twisting it into a macabre meditation on Christ, or turning the Odyssey into a journey with no end. You will walk away shaken, unsteady, but absolutely enthralled.”