“Collision shows J.S. Breukelaar’s range, from horror to fantasy to literary to science fiction and every emotional register in between, but, after reading this collection, I’m not at all sure there’s any kind of limit to what she can get done on the page.”
Stephen Graham Jones.
J.S. Breukelaar moves effortlessly among the varieties of the fantastic, shifting from horror, to science fiction, to fairy tale, sometimes within the same story. Combining gritty, lived-in settings with characters grooved and gouged by their experiences, these stories refract the complexities of contemporary existence, bringing our hopes and horrors to vivid life. Breukelaar’s work collides with the reader, opening us to terror, wonder, and insight.
John Langan, author of The Fisherman
“J.S. is leaving her footprints on a path blazed by luminaries such as M.R. James, Robert Aickman, Tanith Lee, Kelly Link, Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Jeff VanderMeer, Gustave Flaubert, Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne DuMaurier, Leonora Carrington and Charlotte Brontë, to name but a few.”
(Angela Slatter, Award-winning author of Sourdough and Other Stories, Vigil, and Corpselight)
“Stories that start in one place, and end – or don’t – somewhere else entirely, with dread, surprise, and wry beauty along the way . . . Collide with J.S. Breukelaar’s collection, and who can say where you’ll end up?”
(Kathe Koja, award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy)
“J.S. Breukelaar’s new collection, Collision, has definitely the perfect title. Her stories will punch your breath out, slam you sideways and hit you by surprise, leaving you exquisitely bruised and wanting for more. One of the major voices of our times, J.S. Breukelaar is a writer who fears nothing and takes you along her amazing narrative rides that defy genre and conventions, a reckless driver that only notice the signs on the side of the road in order to run them down.”
(Seb Doubinsky, author of The Babylonian Trilogy, The Song of Synth, and Missing Signal).
Though she wasn’t born in the South, her stories evoke for me the same drawling sense of pocket-universe skewedness as Howard Waldrop’s best, perhaps filtered through a more contemporary sensibility; a time-lapsed version of Stephen Graham Jones’s back-country, tooth-bearing fictions, with disquieting details lovingly blown up and lingered on; and all of this enlivened by injections of surrealism a la Leonora Carrington, with touches of William Gibson-esque techno-estrangement. It’s a mind-expanding brew.Alvaro Zinos-Amaro in Intergalactic Medicine Show.
Collision transcends the borders of horror writing by creating fantastical and near real-life world with simple twists that keep them tangible but still impossible to predict. Breukelaar explores the innate cruelty of man, the uncanny elements of things that sometimes seem unknown, and the things that divide us as a race.Rachel Gonzalez, PaperbackParis
“J. S. Breukelaar is a writer of obvious talent, demonstrated over and over in this collection.”Townsend Walker, NY Journal of Books.
The 12 stories in this collection feature horror, fantasy, and weirdness. The stories and the author are promoted as such. But the reader will probably find the more realistic stories to be her best, and many are quite fine— “Union Falls,” “Fairy Tale,” “Fixed,” and War Wounds.”
Whether her name is familiar or not, her debut collection, Collision: Stories, should be on your “must read” list. Breukelaar, an American living in Sydney, Australia, writes in a clean, incisive style with razor-sharp opening hooks, while blending the literary, the speculative, and the weird. The earliest of the 12 stories was published in 2011 and there are three originals. All are unsettling. If any themes tie them together, it may be that the real and the unreal can and do coexist and that, however dire life may be, there is usually at least a modicum of optimism to be found. Another unifying factor is that the characters are all so normal and knowable while also being completely abnormal and unpredictable.Locus Magazine.