Book Review – The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

sea fair master

I’ve read my fair share of flash fiction stories over the years, but this was the first collection I’d read from a single author. Flash fiction isn’t for everyone, but I’m a big fan. It’s not just because I have an extremely short attention span, though.

There’s a skill to writing stories this short. Creating a beginning, middle, and end in such a limited number of words is very difficult. But Calvin Demmer has managed to do this 23 times here, which is some doing.

The stories on offer here are superb, and read to me like a collection of stories from different authors. I mean this as a massive compliment, as although each contained a strong and focussed writing style, the differing themes and situations could well have come from many different, but equally-disturbed minds.

Of course, this is a horror collection so be prepared for plenty of downer endings, death, people acting strange and nasty to each other, and general creepy-as-hell scenes. My kind of stories!

If there’s one criticism, it’s that I enjoyed the book so much I had little time to sit and reflect on each story after finishing. Instead I was ploughing into the next one, craving more twisted greatness. This collection is definitely one you will be able to visit multiple times I’m sure. I plan on doing just that.

Yes there’s a few stories where you can kind of see what’s coming, but even then the big reveals are delivered in such shocking finales that are almost unbefitting stories so short. It’s some really impressive stuff.

I can’t pick a favourite here, they’re all great. Whilst writing this review I took a moment to flick through the book and try to remember which ones I particularly loved. But I couldn’t narrow it down, and you don’t really want me to give you a brief synopsis of 23 short tales, do you?

I suggest you get yourself a copy of this and embrace the flashing!

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3 replies

  1. I share your love of flash fiction, especially horror. I’ve published two collections of my own writing. Do you write?


  2. Yeah, I try to, ha! I was meaning to check out some of yours- just read The Basement- some brutal stuff there, good work!!


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