izabrana dela

izabrana dela

уторак, 03. мај 2016.

ANA KAI TANGATA – Scott Nicolay



            Ana Kai Tangata je jedna od najboljih zbirki horor priča objavljenih poslednjih godina, i kao takva zakitila se sa nekoliko nagrada, uključujući tu i Zlatnog Gula za najbolju knjigu horor proze u 2014, kao i nagradu RUE MORGUE magazina u istoj kategoriji (koju sam takođe ja izglasao).
            To je debi-knjiga Skota Nikolaja, pisca koji baš i nije spring chicken ali eto, bavio se poezijom i pećinarenjem pre nego što se bacio u prozopisanje, i oboje se (naročito ovo drugo) lepo vidi u njegovim pričama. Evo šta sam o njegovoj zbirci pisao u prikazu za RUE MORGUE pre dve godine.  

  Ana Kai Tangata   
– Scott Nicolay
Fedogan & Bremer, 2014


Ovaj naslov ne mora mnogo da vam znači, osim ako ne govorite Rapa Nui jezik, u kojem ta fraza znači nešto kao "pećina koja jede ljude". Ime autora ne mora mnogo da vam znači, osim ako niste pročitali antologiju Grimscribe's Puppets (videti RM #137), gde je priča "Eyes Exchange Bank" ovog autora bila jedna od najboljih.
Ali to će se promeniti: upamtićete ovaj naslov, jer pripada najboljoj debitantskoj zbirci u poslednje vreme, a upamtićete i ime Skota Nikolaja,  jer njemu pripada najsnažniji glas koji se pojavio u horor književnosti još od od Lairda Barrona (videti RM #132).
Onda je sasvim prikladno da je upravo Barron napisao uvod, dok pogovor dolazi od uvaženog žanr-priređivača, Johna Pelana (Darkside) a sve priče u ovoj lepo dizajniranoj knjizi su osnažene polu-apstraktnim ilustracijama koje je izveo David Verba.
Ana Kai Tangata je veoma vredna zbirka sa ravnomerno visokim nivoom sadržaja, i što je naročito čudno – ni sa jednim ćorkom (što retko biva čak i u zbirkama većih imena, uključujući tu i Barrona). Sve priče su iznad proseka, sa veoma živim, filmskim, nezaboravnim slikama i natopljene su gustom atmosferom.  
Smisao za mesto je posebno jak: čitaoce će sigurno proganjati napušteni kamenolom koji čudno privlači protagonistu "aligatora" (sic), mali grad u propadanju u "Eyes Exchange Bank", pećina u indijanskom rezervatu sa ne-baš-mrtvim arheološkim nalazom u priči "Phragmites", kužna močvara koju opsedaju gnjecave žabe ("The Soft Frogs"), oronula stambena zgrada u San Francisku ("Geschafte") i, naravno, oduvek misteriozno Uskršnje ostrvo koje je ambijent za naslovnu priču (otud Rapa Nui jezik).
Knjizi svakako pomaže to što je većina priča zapravo obima novele ili novelete, sa dovoljno prostora da se izgradi ugođaj za pamćenje. Nikolaj - pesnik, speleolog i arheolog - bio je svuda; zna čudna mračna mesta dovoljno blisko da vas preveze tamo pre nego što to i osetite.
I da ne zaboravimo i kratak roman smešten u ovih 350 stranica - Tuckahoe je zabavna pulp detektivska storija koja sadrži amorfna telesno-topeća stvorenja i urnebesnu scenu u sali za autopsije soba koja će sigurno da vas natera ili na povraćanje ili na grohotan smeh od neverice koliko je ludački ogavna!
            Podjednako vešt kad treba da uplaši kao i da zgrozi, Nikolaj ovom knjigom nudi zadivljujuću zbirku koja zaslužuje pažnju svih tragalaca za dobrom stravom.
             (c) Dejan Ognjanović

Nikolaj je dobio odlične kritike za ovu zbirku, a godinu dana kasnije dodeljena mu je i prestižna nagrada – 2015 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction (za priču “Do You Like to Look At Monsters?”). Tom prilikom se obilato sprdao sa Lavkratovim likom na statui koju je dobio, sve vreme je držeći naopačke, i lepeći na nju preko usta natpis „Black lives matter“.
On je veoma glasan pobornik političke korektnosti i, naročito, antirasizma (budući da u sebi ima indijanske krvi). Potonje, nažalost, kao da počinje da opterećuje njegovu noviju prozu. Evo šta sam u aprilskom broju RUE MORGUE-a napisao, u mini-rivjuu, o njegovom najnovijem čepbuku sa novelom od oko 90 strana.

NOCTUIDAE – Scott Nicolay
King Shot Press, 2016

            Troje ljudi (ubrzo svedeni na dvoje) zarobljeni su u pećini gde im džinovska ljudožderska biljka prepreči ulaz/izlaz dok unutra vlada mnogo rasno i polno zasnovanog nepoverenja. Previše očigledno politički korektno popovanje u ovoj noveli podriva njen željeni „kosmicizam“ vezan za neodređenu kreaturu dok je veza između spoljašnje i unutrašnje strave prilično nasumična.

            Ipak, uprkos pojedinim zabrinjavajućim znacima (prenapadni egoizam, politička korektnost, napadna mržnja prema Lavkraftu...), Nikolaj ostaje ime na koje treba obratiti pažnju, a evo šta su neki od viđenijih hororista imali da kažu o njegovoj debi-zbirci:
 


“Scott Nicolay is as good a debut author as I’ve ever read. This collection of weird and horrific tales would be a significant accomplishment for a tenured master of the black arts. That it has been created and put forth by an author in his third or fourth year on the scene is extraordinary . . . We are not in the presence of a callow and bullish youth, but a man of erudition and experience. Nicolay is one who has seen much, endured much, has undergone prolonged pressure and the result is a diamond among stones.”
Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

“What you have here is indeed something special: a debut collection that shows none of weaknesses one might expect from a new writer…I’d have assumed thsis was the fourth or fifth collection by a seasoned pro at the top of his game.”
John Pelan, author, editor and publisher

“The stories in Scott Nicolay’s excellent debut collection unite a lean, elegant prose style with meticulously-observed characters moving through landscapes rendered with painterly precision. Rooted in but not confined to the body, the terrors Nicolay’s characters confront pay subtle homage to the traditions and practitioners of weird fiction who have gone before, even as his willingness to develop his narratives at length moves them into a territory that is uniquely his own. With this book, Scott Nicolay lays claim to the attention of everyone interested in the future of weird fiction, and his claim is a strong one indeed.”

“Leave safety at the door…shaped by this weatherman of a wounded humanity, Nicolay’s punch is grim and honest, his horizons vast, alluring, and keenly attuned to what unfurls in our darkest dreams. This explorer’s debut is a collection of strange…living inside some wonderful reading.”
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr, author of Blood Will Have Its Season

“With extraordinary precision and a profound understanding of the power of language, Scott Nicolay examines the nuances of modern discontent. In his fiction you will find no refuge from the grime and dust, marrow and sinew of human experience. His characters are damaged by their efforts in a world that thrives on brutality and greed. Many of these characters can’t be redeemed through heroism. Yet they grapple, tooth and claw, with the truly horrific aspects of life: guilt, regret, and despair. And in their struggle we glimpse the last hope for ourselves, to climb over the rubble of so-called civilization and make our way toward compassion, with all odds against us.”
S.P. Miskowski, author of The Skillute Cycle

“Nicolay’s writing is clean-limbed, not a shred of rococco excess on it. Poetry and the demotic mix well in his prose. He expertly delivers clues and foreshadowings and backstory tidbits attendant upon his enigmas and frights without hammering the reader over the head with gore or hyperbole. His characters are engrossing, if often repellant, his plotting assured, and his venues enticingly nasty. This book marks the start of a fine career, I am sure.”
–Paul Di Filippo, Locus

“Scott Nicolay is a writer in the tradition of modern practitioners of the weird such as Mark Samuels, Terry Lamsley, and Laird Barron. He gives us the unease of Ligotti with the fluid prose of Clark Ashton Smith. Ana Kai Tangata is a serious contender for best collection of the year.”
–John Llewellyn Probert, This Is Horror


“Remember when you first read the stories of Clive Barker, or T.E.D. Klein, or Thomas Ligotti, or John Shirley, or Dennis Etchison, or David J. Schow or Lucy Taylor, or Caitlin Keirnan,  or Michael Shea, or Melanie Tem, and realized you were in the presence of a major talent in modern horror? I got the same feeling reading Nicolay. He steers clear of stock monsters and tropes of the horror genre. His fiction is clear-sighted, hard-edged, realistic, Raymond Carver-like…”
–Leigh Blackmore, Dead Reckonings 15

“Ana Kai Tangata is a bizarre, unsettling book of Weird fiction with some very urban and very bleak settings. It’s a book in which the mundane transforms into something toxic. So, an empty mall becomes a source of evil (“Eyes Exchange Bank”), a rundown apartment plays tricks with your mind (“Geschafte”), and what should be some sort of island paradise melts into a nightmare (“Ana Kai Tangata”).”
–Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Innsmouth Free Press

“Eight of the best weird fiction stories that I have ever had the pleasure of reading, all paired perfectly with shudder-inducing art from David Verba, make this a landmark collection. Publisher Fedogan & Bremer have struck gold with Nicolay, and further refined the presentation with the amazing artwork from David Verba, and introduction from Laird Barron, and an afterword from John Pelan.”
–Justin Steele, Arkham Digest

“Ana Kai Tangata by Scott Nicolay is a truly important collection…to this reader, the supernatural aspects aren’t what give these stories their great power. No, this is what I think Nicolay should be praised for, and what I hope he has more venues to exercise his talents in: human relationships.”
Anna Tambour, author of Crandolin

“Ana Kai Tangata [is] a truly stupendous work of modern horror. The shape of each story plays out like a familiar yet horribly catchy murder ballad–beautiful layering of character detail and an excruciating evocation of foretold doom make us care deeply for his protagonists, after which we’re forced to watch the worst possible outcome for their given situation unfold.”
–Gemma Files, author of the Hexslinger series.




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