Recommended by Kirkus, BookLife, and others and labeled a ‘must-read story collection’, reviewers have called Allen’s writing ‘beautifully crafted’, ‘gorgeous’, ‘memorable’, ‘thoughtful’ and ‘haunting’.
Hailed as a successor to James Tiptree Jr., B. Morris Allen selects his 16 most moving and heartfelt stories. Drawing on sources as distinct as poet Walt Whitman, the Soviet space program, and red-dirt musician Jimmy Le Fave, these lyrical, poignant stories take the reader on a tour of space, dragons, and deep emotion.
With stories from F&SF, Aurealis, Capricious, Cast of Wonders, and other magazines, this provocative and subtle collection will challenge your view of humanity with intelligent dialogue, quirky settings, and difficult decisions. Some stories will warm your heart, some will break it.
Chambers of the Heart – when someone else’s heart is your home
Building on Sand – what was and what might have been
Blush – life with masks
Minstrel Boy Howling at the Moon – magic, music, and … buffalo?
Fetch – she may be a simulation, but out on the edge, she’s one man’s best friend
The Humblebract Expedition – an uplifting story of a play date for a dying child
When Dooryards First in the Lilac Bloomed – a doorway to opportunity and change, if only they can understand it
Some Sun and Delilah – a sunny island, an abandoned temple, and thou
Crying in the Salt House – the house is built from tears, or so they say
Full of Stars – jar half empty, jar half full
Memory and Faded Ink – the aliens are perfectly human … and just as flawed
Fountainhead – arranged pairings never work, especially with different species
Adaptations to Coastal Erosion – what to do when your love literally falls away
Outburst – Earth is dead, and the rest is up to a handful of teens in a broken orbital
The Irrigation Ditch – they came to hide, but didn’t realize it was from each other
Dragons I Have Slain – take hope where you find it
Cover art by Bonnie Leeman
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“Throughout this collection, Allen adroitly employs a combination of whimsy and wide-ranging imagination, filling his tales with both bite and heart. … these stories squarely into the literary lineage of James Tiptree and Algis Budrys, the territory where mythmaking and SF intersect. … Often these narrative strengths combine in remarkably effective stories… A marvelously varied and heart-tugging collection of tales.” Kirkus Reviews, RECOMMENDED
“… explores our natural world and the surreal in surprising ways. … all [stories] are unsettling, joyous, or fantastical. … Each story is a marvel that regards the simple and the grand in beautiful, haunting fashion. … Allen is highly imaginative, engaging his audience into the otherworldly, and one never knows where the stories lead to or quite what to expect.” Dylan Ward, US Review of Books, RECOMMENDED
“… the writing really felt lyrical in its approach to the story, and each story’s featured characters were the chorus of the symphony of emotions that the author subtly delved into, creating a truly moving collection of speculative fiction. … Hauntingly beautiful, engaging, and thoughtful in its approach, author B. Morris Allen’s Chambers of the Heart: speculative stories is a must-read short story collection of 2022. Thought-provoking narratives which challenge the readers understanding of reality and the emotional character traits to keep the reader invested in each story make this a one-of-a-kind collection that comes along once in a great while.”
Jack Chambers, Pacific Book Review, STARRED
“Poignant, heartfelt, and beautifully crafted, Chambers of the Heart is an amazing collection of magical and thought-provoking speculative short-stories worthy of savoring and re-reading. … What I loved most about this book was it’s multi-layered elements of meaning and how they intertwined with emotions … To successfully incorporate such meaningful depth to the reader in abstract storytelling such as this…. is nothing short of genius. … Every story in this book is equally memorable. … I think this book would spark many conversations among readers and would make a great selection for book group discussions.” BookeryBliss
“Some stories are lyrical and beautiful and others gave me Edgar Allen Poe vibes. I adored the diversity throughout the stories and they’re all very quick to read.” Danae, Goodreads
“One of the most unusual and inspiring books I have ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed Chambers of the Heart. Author B. Morris Allen has an especially unusual and descriptive writing style. The array of earthly and alien characters carries each story forward with beautifully written dialogue. … Chambers of the Heart is a book for everyone. Natalie Soine, Readers’ Favorite
“[T]he author has hit every emotion and done so in such a unique way that I felt as if some stories were pure, factual, truth. … [A] visual, beautiful, heartfelt book that makes you think. … These stories are powerful and extremely memorable.” Amy Lignor, Reader Views
On a planet that rotates the wrong way, where day and night last thirty years, humans can only live in the twilight zone, constantly moving to stay ahead of the dark night and the cruel Nocturnals that call it home.
Joah Cadshaw used to retrieve people the Nocturnals had taken, until his wife came back broken. Now, sent out west to spread word of the coming Move, he finds signs of another person gone missing — a young boy.
If Joah wants to save the boy, he must face the monsters who haunt his dreams.
Beautifully written speculative fiction from Metaphorosis magazine.
Dreams, spells, devotion, and other forms of commitment, both scientific and fantastic. Stories to keep you going in adversity. The best science fiction and fantasy stories from Metaphorosis magazine’s sixth year.
Spells for Going Forth by Day — V.G. Campen
The Stranding — Maud Woolf
Tell the Crows I’m Home — Laurel Beckley
The Song of the Moohee — Emmett Swan
A Wizard Comes to Shorehaven — L.J. Wetherby
Superbloom — Lynne Peskoe-Yang
Souls Like Sea Glass — Josie Smith
A Universe All to Himself — Ryan Priest
Rapunzel Dreams of Elephants — Rachel Delaney Craft