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Words Written Backwards

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  7 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Deep winter, Algonquin Bay. Something underground is poisoning the land. Rez elders have called in Joe Tulugaak, Innu shaman for hire, to investigate. But just as he thinks he's closing in on the problem, what looks like a half-frozen teenaged girl suddenly walks out of a gathering snowstorm, collapsing at Joe's feet.

But Judy Kiss isn't really a teenager - or even (complet
Chapbook, 36 pages
Published 2007 by Burning Effigy Press
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Robert Beveridge
Gemma Files, Words Written Backwards (Burning Effigy Press, 2007)

The Gemma Files is not yet recognized as one of Canada's premier storytellers can only be explained, as I see it, by the fact that she's just not prolific enough yet; certainly most who have read her two collections of short stories have sung her praises pretty much uniformly. So where's the love from the New York Times and the Guardian and Booklist and Publisher's Weekly and Bookslut? No idea. But “Words Written Backwards” should
I am a Gemma Files fan, since her days of selling chapbooks at the World Horror Convention in Chicago. This chapbook was published by Canada's Burning Effigy Press. While it is fascinating, I didn't think the story was entirely successful.

For a story with only two characters, I found there was one character too many. I was smitten with Joe Tulugaak, a psychic detective who follows First Nations traditions. (Note to Gemma: could we have more of his cases? Pretty please?)

Judy Kiss, the girl who wa
Apr 04, 2008 Rich rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
An intriguing and unique short story set in the Artic north, with a native shaman for hire and "Toronto's Version of Regan [from The Excorcist]." Files keeps the pacing brisk and the reader's guessing. A quick read with originality enough to keep things interesting.
David Bridges
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Feb 25, 2013
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Jun 16, 2012
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Previously best-known as a film critic for Toronto's eye Weekly, teacher and screenwriter, Gemma Files first broke onto the international horror scene when her story "The Emperor's Old Bones" won the 1999 International Horror Guild award for Best Short Fiction. She is the author of two collections of short work (Kissing Carrion and The Worm in Every Heart) and two chapbooks of poetry (Bent Under N ...more
More about Gemma Files...
A Book of Tongues (Hexslinger, #1) A Rope of Thorns (Hexslinger, #2) A Tree of Bones (Hexslinger, #3) Kissing Carrion The Worm in Every Heart

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