Velocities by Kathe Koja

Review by Patrick R McDonough

Throughout this collection you’ll find the poetic symphony that is Kathe Koja. From the horrors in a grim near-future, to the mind of someone dwindling into nothingness. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in Velocities.

The collection tackles a few themes spun in an interesting way: abuse, brutality, and victimization. They come in different forms from societal down to the micro level of one person trying to find themselves.

My three favorite stories:

“Baby” – The collection opens with this story and it’s by far the creepiest of them all. It’s one of those short stories I think anyone that enjoys being scared or creeped out can get behind. It sets the bar high for the rest of the collection and without any spoilers, all I can say is nobody puts this Baby in the corner.

“Velocity” – The story of an artist. One being questioned, at points pestered, about his methods. The artform is a niche and a strange one indeed, but the story behind it is heart-wrenching.

“Clubs” – Even when I was in my young 20’s they weren’t for me. The few times I went to a club I could make out whose scene it really was, and who was there just to be with friends like I did. Our protagonist is a lifer, or so it seems. It’s an interesting arc–from being the hottest thing in the club to… well.. not. “Clubs” is another story that gives us the tale of a character that appears to be in their element, yet couldn’t be more lost and alone.

Koja is someone you need to read whether you’re a general reader of horror/dark fiction or a student of the Horror genre. 

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