Praise, Reviews, and Other Nice Things People Are Saying

from Anne Rice, about

“I think we’re living in a golden age of blogging when indie critics or reviewers can reach for the stars. You no longer have to be an employee at a literary magazine to become an official literary commenter or observer. You can do it on your own. Everything depends on the quality of what you write. And I like Annie Neugebauer’s blog very much. Very high quality.”

from Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews, about “So Sings the Siren”:

“This is a rather creepy and very short story about pain and about art and about performance. […] It’s how the story is able to establish and sell the darkness that is at first concealed […] I like how the story sets this all up and I like the implications of it, the way it seems to me to seek to shine a light on how we treat art […] It’s weird and messed up and uncomfortable but I think it’s a rather great read!”

from Alex Clark-McGlenn at For Those Who Wait and Listen, about “So Sings the Siren”:

“A gruesome and moving look at the price of art. […] It’s disturbing, but very provocative. Wonderful horror story.”

from Des Lewis at Dreamcatcher Real-Time Reviews, about “Hide”:

“This is what I call the perfect horror ‘short short’. To describe its plot would spoil it. It is powerful and surprising…”

*recommended list for Best Horror of the Year Volume 7 by Ellen Datlow, “Hide”

from Gareth Jones at Dread Central, about “Hide”:

“Annie Neugebauer’s ‘Hide’ is possibly the shortest entry that I’ve ever come across in the pages of Black Static, but it’s an enjoyable little slice of grim micro-fiction – twisting the jargon of the ‘pickup artist’ into something much more horrendous than it already is.”

from A.P. Sessler, about “The Devil Take the Hindmost”:

Inside you’ll find several takes on the Witching Hour theme, but I would say my favorite four [includes] Annie Neugebauer’s The Devil Take the Hindmost, a wonderfully convincing period piece that fans of The VVitch will certainly fall in love with.

from Mary Ann Back, about “The Call of the House of Usher”:

I just finished “The Call of the House of Usher” by Annie Neugebauer – the most elegantly crafted story I’ve ever read. Kudos on a spot on Victorian voice that would have brought a smile to Poe’s face.

from Frank Errington, about “Honey”:

“Probably the most unusual story in the anthology, yet truly enjoyable.”

from Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews, about “Maxwell’s Demon”:

“Finally, a poem that takes on thermodynamics in a way that I can fully embrace! It’s a poem about entropy, perhaps, and loss, about a person finding themself cut off from the person they were just with, the person they care about. Finding suddenly that, because they didn’t pay enough attention, because they didn’t argue as they were sorted into categories, they have lost something very important. And that’s the other part of this poem that I like, that it works on the micro and macro scale, for small things but also as a call not to be sorted, not to be categorized easily by anyone just wanting to run a thought experiment because no, fuck that, that’s how Bad Things start. As in the poem, things don’t seem so bad because why not go where someone says, only things don’t really stop there, and in some drive to fight against entropy you let tiny demons in where they shouldn’t be. It’s a rather subtle point here, but present I think, present in the way that realization slowly settles, the dawning understanding that the demon shouldn’t be in charge. And the realization that it might be too late. The poem is short and relies a bit on knowing what the original reference is to (thanks, Wikipedia!). But it works, and the more I think about it the richer it gets, because there’s a lot to think of in these deceptively simple lines, the sorting and the loss and the regret and the everything working together and it’s just a lot of fun and almost heartbreaking and you should read it.”

from Stephen Williams at SwillBlog, about “Naked”:

“The five poems this month explore some haunting territory. ‘Naked’ strips down an unfortunate person and also uses the stripped down approach in words to get right to the heart while still saying a lot in only a few lines.”

from Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews, about “Naked”:

“Nice. Creepy. This is a rather short and deceptively complex poem about nakedness. Or, more, about stripping someone naked. Not just without clothes but deeper than that. And the poem is complex to me because it links nakedness with gaze. The voice of the poem, after all, is just a gaze, is someone viewing the “you” of the piece so that the reader is the one being stripped, examined, peeled. And there’s such a calm confidence to the voice, the way that it gaslights the subject, the reader, telling us all that we know what it wants, that we know it is only being reasonable. The way that the world examines people, and especially certain people. Their bodies but also their hurts, demanding the right to have access to them, to be able to see them and play with them. It’s an unsettling effect that the poem manages expertly, deepening the impact which each layer taken away, with each defense shattered. And there is an insatiability to the voice, the creeping suspicion that it will never be satisfied no matter how much it shaves away, like we’re all trees being shorn down to toothpicks, found wanting, and then discarded. And I like it. The language is simple, the voice direct and familiar, the poem a nice cold blade that dissects the reader. A great read!”

from Charlotte Ashley at Apex Magazine, about “Zanders the Magnificent”:

“’Zanders the Magnificent’ by Annie Neugebauer (Fireside #21) is a darkly funny bit of work about a mother raising twin boys as if they were one person in order to, eventually, perform as stage magicians à la Christopher Priest’s The Prestige. Of course, being told you have to be dead half your life can be damaging to any small child, and Robby and Bobby don’t come out quite right in the end.”

from Lori Lee at, about “The Silence”:

“‘The Silence’ by Annie Neugebauer, inspired by a painting called ‘Sunset’ by Sharon Dawson, whispered to me, its meaning lingering days later. If you go with only enough time to see this painting, try to visualize how it inspired the poem, and consider taking away a little inspiration to hide beneath your pillow.”

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