The Age of Satan
The Age of Satan
About the Book
“I had read several stories of Juliana – I knew she was exceptionally talented, but I must frankly admit that I never thought this pensive young girl capable of presenting a complete and harmonious collection of short stories. I read the twenty stories all in one breath – it was an unforgettable experience, it was like tasting a treat with an unknown flavour – something bitter, sweet and sour at the same time. The Chinese say that the harmony of the three amount to perfection.
No end of meaningless horror stories are published today. I have always been aware that real horror literature is always written by people with a free spirit, by born romantics, who are not afraid to go deep in the soul and touch on all complexes and fears.
Today Heavy Metal groups are the vogue with the younger generation. Many fail to understand them – Heavy Metal is something seen as a perverse taste. And yet people forget the horrors lurking in the unusual classical stories of the Grimm brothers to Hoffmann’s stories.
Juliana Manova is namely presenting modern fairy tales, she freely goes about the realm of fantasy, none of it borrowed; it is a realm of fantasy of her own, a unique world in its themes and motifs.
No doubt the ability to create a powerful imaginary world, the skilful movement of light and shadows in your imagination, producing convincing archetypes of the subconsciousness, is the most difficult art. Few are the masters
like Stephen King who give life to fantasy, turn evil into music. While I was reading these “glimpses of fantastic reality” my head was full of music – I imagined Carol and the strange blemish on her soft skin (“This is what your father died of”), or the idea of floating sand, as if to remind us of man’s insignificance in the universe (“Sand”).
Juliana’s world is a paradox, there is evil in it; it is a world where nothing seems as it is. This approach is particularly valid for the younger generation today – a generation which will not accept our world for granted, and has been searching for its ways and waiting to make its discoveries.
There are those who see this generation as a lost generation without any spirituality, full of pessimism, totally pragmatic. Yet in Juliana Manova’s fine stories I can see the real face of the young people I met while I lectured at the New Bulgarian University.
Juliana Manova has categorically proven her sunny talent in her novelette “The Eye of the Salune”, a fine example of fantasy prose in Silverberg’s collections of prose. The “dark half” of the palette we can trace in “Vampires at Dawn”, or “The Evil That Men Do”. Moreover horror is presented in an elegant, “winking” manner, with a sense of humour, which turns “darkness” into a ray of wit. Reading “A History Class”, or “The Kitten with the Golden Eyes” is a real pleasure in its challenge for the reader.
GLIMPSES OF FANTASTIC REALI TY / 5
SAND / 7
SHEEH’S PLONER / 17
RIDE / 19
VAMPIRES AT DAWN / 28
THE EYE OF THE SALYUN / 31
THE AGE OF SATAN / 54
LONER / 65
RABBITS / 70
THE KITTEN WITH THE GOLDEN EYES / 72
THE END / 79
A HISTORY CLASS / 87
TEDDY BEARS / 90
A LIFE / 97
THE EVIL THAT MEN DO / 99
LET'S SAVE THE WORLD / 110
I AM NOT A CHICKEN! / 132
THE BIG COLLAPSE / 136
SHE IS TO BLAME / 141
LET’S HAVE FUN / 144
YOUR FATHER DIED OF THIS / 153
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