The Horror Zine
Tales From a Goth Librarian
The Horror Zine Review

Tales From a Goth Librarian

by Kimberly Richardson

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Kerlak Publishing (March 10, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780982374511
ISBN-13: 978-0982374511
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

Tales From a Goth Librarian

Tales From a Goth Librarian

by Kimberly Richardson

Review by Michele Ford

Tales From a Goth Librarian is a delectably descriptive journey that tunnels through the eaves of time. These deliciously dark tales are set in a steampunk era, rich in gothic romance and intrigue.

For those new to this type of literature, steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that first came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain — and it incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner."

The author Kimberly Richardson, a finalist in the International Book Awards for Tales from a Goth Librarian, entices the reader through vice and virtue, pleasure and pain, torment and erotica. Herein lie tales of love and desire, conventions transgendered. The reader is swept headlong into strange magic and must read on to disentangle this emotional web.

Tales from a Goth Librarian is an anthology that has nine short stories and twenty-four poems. The fiction really stands out; each tale effortlessly lifts the reader out of normality and into the supernatural realm. The eyes of understanding are opened to the magical world in which we subsist but are ignorant of. 

The book begins with two very short stories enticing the reader into the gothic flavor of the work. 'Madison de Macabre' and 'Non Compos Mentis' are thematically interlinked and give ingress to the gothic realm as we visualise two bloodthirsty dancing phantasms that seem so real, but are really ghosts from the past. The reader feels the polar emotions that the main character experiences; comforted by angels and yet tormented by demons.

'Silk' is about tragic and obsessive unrequited love with horrific consequences. The pace is swift and intense and leaves the reader reeling with pain, uncertainty, surprise and shock as the relationship between the two characters progresses.

The reader becomes fatally attracted to a poetess and enters into dangerous liaisons with her in 'Multicoloured Souls'. This is a dark tale of uproar and devastating intrigue.

Towards the end of this 264-page book, we arrive at the goth poetry and the reader is  plunged into heartfelt romance where bloody wounds and torture describe the deepest, darkest love beyond death in 'A Dying Wish'.

The styles in the poetry section are poignantly varied between Victorian and modern as seen by the complementary poems 'Confession of a Corporate Goth Woman', 'Lines About Goths' and 'Ode to the Topic that is Hot', providing a timeless picture of existing strands for like-minded souls.

The poem 'The Beginning of the End' lures the reader right into the haunting and evocative verses ahead. The collection is then rounded off with 'A Last Look' which gives a humorous gothic code of ethics, and just touching upon some final insight into the mind of the authoress and poetess Kimberly Richardson.

This book of dark aesthetic gothic verse could easily be a standalone publication of fiction. Instead we are pleasurably endowed with a dual collection of both stories and poetry in one volume.

To delve into Tales from a Goth Librarian by Kimberley Richardson is to escape into the gothic realm of steampunk and be awakened to the supernatural dimension of life never to return....

I highly recommend this book. It is deep, gothic, and exciting.






You can buy Tales From a Goth Librarian from Amazon HERE or directly from Kerlak HERE.

About the author

Kimberly Richardson

Kimberly Richardson

After found as an infant crawling among old books in an abandoned library, Kimberly Richardson grew up to be an eccentric woman with a taste for listening to jazz music while drinking tea, reading books in every genre and writing stories that cause people to make the strangest faces.

Her first book, Tales From a Goth Librarian, was published through Kerlak Publishing and was named a Finalist in both the USA Book News Awards for Fiction: Short Story for 2009 and the International Book Awards for Fiction: Short Story in 2010.

Her new book, Mabon, will be out in Spring 2011. Kimberly is also the Editor of the award winning Steampunk anthology Dreams of Steam and the upcoming sequel, Dreams of Steam II: Of Brass and Bolts. (Kerlak Publishing).  Her family, albeit normal, loves her as much as she loves them. She currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee.

About the Reviewer

Michele Ford

Michele Ford

Michele Ford grew up in a highly artistic family in northern England, daughter of a Scottish sci-fi author/sculptor and Swiss-Italian painter. Her extensive travels and intriguing life experiences upon a remote island in the Baltic sea are intricately woven into this exquisite gothic verse. Her publications deliciously describe the depths and heights of emotions and perceptions of life.

You can see Michele's books HERE.