The Portswick Imp: Collected Stories, 2001-2016
£7.00 or equivalent. 164pp. Gloss-and-paperboard.
Black Pear Press, www.blackpear.net
Available from Black Pear Press, Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble and all other outlets.
‘Past, present and future meet throughout Thomas’s stories, and the meetings are not without consequence. But there is humour, too, and the chance for the reader to alight in different places at crucial times. Sunny San Gimignano. The Black Country at the lowest season of the year. An Irish farm circa Sputnik and The Twist. An England undone by humanity; another England undone by the inexplicable. A Midlands town seen through Grenadian eyes. A Welsh landscape in which man becomes shadow, shadow becomes nothing at all. With a quality that has ensured the publication of Thomas’ writing in titles as diverse as The Antioch Review, Muscadine Lines, Under The Radar, The London Magazine and the TLS, the stories in The Portswick Imp open up lives in all their ordinary improbability. Here, so often, is a desperation that refuses to be quiet. But here also is an acceptance—laughing or simply wide-eyed—of a world where (in the words of one character) what is to come can feel like “the first yard of a desert” or (in the words of another) “the proper start.”’