“Leningrad Nights is one of those works of fiction that seem to arrive unmediated from a space located at an oblique angle slightly above the earth’s surface.
Short story collections are often hit-and-miss affairs but not so with Foursight, which features four superlative and riveting novellas by big name writers. James Lovegrove, Graham Joyce, Michael Marshall Smith and Kim Newman have, under the skilful reigns of editor Peter Crowther, created a stunning and varied collection of werid but wonderful tales.
Graham Joyce kicks off the proceedings with the achingly good “Lenningrad Nights”, the story of a young boy facing his own personal battle in his war torn homeland as he becomes the surrogate father to a prostitute’s baby. The lyrical prose and sharp characterisation mark this as probably the best of the collection with a denouement that sits comfortably with all that has gone before.
Graham Joyce’s “Leningrad Nights” reads like a long-lost urban legend from the Great Patriotic War. Set during the 900-day siege of Leningrad, “Leningrad Nights” is sufficiently grizzly in its depiction of what it takes to survive under such circumstances. It is a story of a young man who finds both poetry and the limits of his own behaviour in the rubble of the dying city.
Victor Gollancz Science Fiction, 2000
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