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.
“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.
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