Apparently, the genesis for This Twisted Earth came from a class when Polak was a child. Asked to write about literally anything that came to mind, the youthful brain choked and an entire universe attempted to get onto the paper at once. The end result can now be seen here in this anthology.
In-universe, Earth’s timeline has been mashed together as the result of a horrible cataclysm. We’ve seen the concept in films and TV before, to be sure, but it never feels quite as fleshed out as it does here. The idea of different historical cultures combining is here taken to its logical extreme and the consequences are fully explored in stories that span a variety of genres. Thought and care has clearly gone into the book as well, as the first story is extremely well chosen and helps to explain the premise in a few pages. Really, this idea would make for a fantastic television miniseries.
When reviewing a book like this, it’s usually hard to point out any specific highlights. But the standout work is easily Matt Lewis’ story, The Ghost in Michelle. It’s properly funny and we chuckled again when rereading it for this review. Lewis is one to watch; you will want to read more from a mind that can produce lines like: “There was Uncle Roger, of course. He had bled to death after he put his thumb in the wrong place on a Doberman.”
Mind you, some of the language can get a bit... flowery. It’s definitely a matter of personal preference and it’s at least partially just the kind of wondrous tone the book is going for.
As this is laying the groundwork for an ongoing story in a way that few anthologies do, it’s definitely one to keep an eye on. When Volume 2 comes out, you know we’ll be on board.
THIS TWISTED EARTH / AUTHOR: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: CREATESPACE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING PLATFORM / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW