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The Human Alchemy

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Heralded as one of the leading voices in contemporary weird fiction, Michael Griffin returns with his second collection, The Human Alchemy. Here you will find eleven magnificent tales of the strange and sublime, the familiar and the disquieting, where dreamlike beauty and breathtaking horror intertwine. Featuring an introduction by S.P. Miskowski.
Paperback, 342 pages
Published June 30th 2018 by Word Horde
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  32 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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Janie C.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is no doubt that Michael Griffin is a skilled author of weird fiction. I loved his earlier collection, The Lure of Devouring Light. However, The Human Alchemy did not quite hit home for me. The writing is excellent, but I felt that some of the stories lacked resolution. Not the type of resolution that explains outcome in detail, but the kind of acuity that is felt intuitively. Still, this is a cosmic mélange worth exploring, especially for the inclusion of An Ideal Retreat, which was forme ...more
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Thank you to Word Horde and the author for giving me a copy to read and review.
3.5 stars!
This is a difficult collection to review. Imagine, if you will, a target zone like a bullseye. Visualize me reading these stories and some of the stories landing right there in the center. The zone. Then picture other stories hitting those outer rings; still others were flying right outside the whole target into free space. This is how the collection feels to me. The stories that landed right there in the ce
David Peak
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A remarkably cohesive collection filled with refined, flowing prose. The Human Alchemy is an impressive leap forward in terms of artistry and skill. Like most people, I was won over by Griffin's previous collection, The Lure of Devouring Light, and he's only gotten better. The style here is toned down a bit, more assured, and the themes of each story almost seem to nest within one another. I'd previously read many of the stories in this collection, and I was surprised by how much I got out of re ...more
Micah Castle
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Michael Griffin's new collection, The Human Alchemy, is visceral, cerebral, as if you're inside the protagonists' head through each story, along for the strange, maddening ride.

Griffin's writing is more honed in this collection, and it's clear that he has improved his craft since The Lure of Devouring Light.

My favorite stories from the collection are: Firedancing, The Smoke Lodge, The Tidal Pull of Salt and Sand, Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window, Endure Within a Dying Frame, and The Human
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
English - Español


”Away from the humdrum, toward the beautiful strange.”

This sentence, taken from the story that closes the second collection of short fiction from Michael Griffin, sums up what you are going to find in these pages: a love for the strange - celebrated disturbingly in this turn of the screw to Frankenstein that puts an end to the book - stained always with poetry, with a devotion for crafting evocative sentences and atmospheres.

Even if labels are always unfair, much
Ian Welke
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is so much I want to say about The Human Alchemy. The prose are composed by one of the best writers currently out there, every story left me thinking about it well after I put the book down for the night. But then I think what can I say that isn’t better said in the introduction by S.P. Miskowski, which in a couple pages is a great examination of both the author’s work specifically and the state of weird fiction in general. She writes, “Often Griffin’s tales of longing and loss express a d ...more
Logan Noble
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another powerful collection by one of the field's best new talents.
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fantastic collection of modern weird tales. I particularly enjoyed “The Slipping of Stones” and “The Tidal Pull of Salt and Sand” (what a title!). The absorbing and subtly powerful novella “An Ideal Retreat” was another favorite, along with “Endure Within a Dying Frame.”
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