|About the Book|
Out of all the books I have reviewed recently, Qualia Nous is right up there for me with Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.Qualia is defined as “instances of subjective, conscious experience- the internal and subjective component of sense perceptions arising from the stimulation of the senses by phenomena- the way it feels to have mental states.”Nous is defined as “intellections- awareness- perception- understanding- reason- thought- intuition- the faculty of the human mind- having the ability to understand what is true or real- practical intelligence.”Put them together and you have a mix of the psychological side of science fiction and horror, the latest anthology produced by Michael Bailey of Written Backwards. Bailey has put together a collection of thirty-one stories that is not only a complete pleasure to read, but to savor every word. This wasn’t a book that I wanted to skim through quickly and throw on a shelf to collect dust.The anthology starts with a short story entitled “The Jaunt” by Stephen King. Yes, THAT Stephen King. The story is about a family getting ready to go on their first interplanetary journey by teleportation. It’s a simple story, as most King stories are, but the twist at the end will send chills down your spine.Several other people I’m familiar with are in the table of contents as well: Gene O’Neill, Max Booth III, William F. Nolan, Erin L. Kemper, Lucy A. Snyder and Gary A. Braunbeck. But Bailey’s introduced me to a good number of authors that I want to keep my eyes peeled for in other anthologies and other works and for that, I’m thankful.What really stands out for me, as a writer, is the care and precision it feels that each author used when writing their stories. If you’ve ever questioned whether science fiction and horror can be literary — these stories are the answer to that.Bailey’s instincts as to what constitutes a good story are spot on — each story in this volume is an absolute gem. One of these days, I hope to have a story in one of his anthologies.