Australian author Helen Patrice has been described as a fantasist cat-lady, tarot enthusiast, belly dancer and a widdershins circle-casting witch. But going by her latest offering – THE COMMUNICANT and other stories – there is much more to this writer than meets the eye, with Patrice joining hands with like minded souls and channelling a menagerie of characters including vampires and unicorns, a Minotaur, body-invading ants, bird-people, gods and alien all-sorts from a spectacular otherworldly cast.
Based in Melbourne, Patrice’s portfolio is varied, including several volumes of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, in addition to various newspaper, magazine and blog contributions for The Age, The Australian, Nova, Inflight Magazine, Spellcraft, Sage Woman, The Gilded Serpent and TravelnRavel.com.
In this collection it seems there is nothing taboo, the author a deft hand at the uncomfortable, one of her characters singlehandedly castrating an unfaithful shape-shifting werewolf. But there are also tales of `ordinary’ humankind, embellished with a healthy dose of sex, all with a flourish of Patrice’s undoubted observational and imaginative style: clever, quirky and irreverent.
Like the author, `The Communicant’ is of the unexpected, puzzling, perplexing and sometimes downright disturbing. This is an eclectic mix indeed, the stories a weird and wondrous concoction of the cringe worthy, the Gothic, the funny and fearful – a mesmerising crossover of a creature, inhabiting the shadows somewhere between Carmen Maria Machado and the Brothers Grimm.
Within these pages, we journey along eerie, unknown paths with night fast approaching – a must read for literary adventurers searching for something different, Patrice’s latest a dazzling addition to her existing catalogue, and an admirable entry into the previously unknown genre of Séance Fiction.
*** Opening feature image `THE COMMUNICANT and other stories’ a book by Helen Patrice published by Content X Design Inc 2018 ***