PUTTING THE PIECES IN PLACE
Tartarus Press, 2018
Short story collection
"Putting the Pieces in Place"
"There is Nothing That I Wouldn't Do"
"An Artist's Model"
"Una Furtiva Lagrima"
"Where They Cannot Be Seen"
The five stories that made up R.B. Russell’s debut collection, Putting the Pieces in Place, were described on first publication as demonstrating ‘a subtle mastery of the macabre. Enigmatic and enticing, they combine a pleasing respect for the great tradition of supernatural fiction with a chilling contemporary European resonance.’
Literary Remains was described as a collection that displayed how ‘love and loss tear at the fabric of everyday life and distort reality. What was once objectively familiar is tainted by uncertainty, and soon everything becomes subtly and terrifyingly altered. In Russell’s stories even the present appears to be open to misunderstanding. .. . When those around you insist that they see the world differently at least you can argue with them. But when you realise that you cannot rely on your own senses then the world becomes a terrifying place indeed.
Reviews for Putting the Pieces in Place
'...an excellent and very satisfying debut collection...' - Ellen Datlow, The Best Horror of the Year Volume Two.
'The hallmark of these stories is their subtlety. Putting the Pieces in Place is a wonderful debut from an author who is among those leading the way in blending horror and the strange tale.' The Speculative Fiction Junkie
'Ray Russell's stories in Putting the Pieces in Place are captivating for their depth of mystery and haunting melancholy. These qualities place Russell in a tradition of authors that includes Sheridan LeFanu and Ramsey Campell, storytellers whose works proceed with a creeping uneasiness that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.' Thomas Ligotti
'. . . classy, tasteful stories of quiet horror told in an unassuming, polished narrative style. Mostly starting out as mainstream tales, Russell’s stories gradually convey a subtle feeling of disquiet as, page after page, the supernatural or the horrific unobtrusively creeps in. . . . In short, an enticing, remarkable collection proving that it was high time Russell would start a career as a writer. I’m looking forward to his next book.' Mario Guslandi, Hellnotes
'R.B. Russell has produced a work of timeless elegance which wouldn’t be out of place among the classic European ghost stories collections. The stories are all richly enigmatic with a subtle horror subtext. The European setting give the stories a distinctive feel, everything here is slightly, subtly different.' Highlander's Book Reviews
'As with Henry James, one might ask whether Russell is telling stories of the supernatural or of the psychological. It comes down to perception and this superb collection illustrates how each of us has a different way of putting the pieces in place.' Brian J. Showers, Rue Morgue
'In Putting the Pieces in Place R.B. Russell plays with human emotions without drawing a perceptible line between reality and fiction, passion and obsession, and creates an atmosphere of unease without pointing exactly the reason for it.' Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews
'Russell's horror is profoundly internal - the horrors of alienation, of loss, of obsession, even of love. Fans of Walter de la Mare take note. Hartley makes a good point of reference … for like him and his successor Robert Aickman (and by that logic his predecessor Henry James also deserves a mention), Russell is concerned primarily with giving you a glimpse of daily life gradually warped into another perverse shape without you knowing it. … an outstanding collection.' Andy McQuade in Gorezone, June 2009
'...the author's gift for a finely-turned sentence and a well-crafted tale.' David Longhorn in Supernatural Tales 15.
Reviews for Literary Remains
'Literary Remains by R. B. Russell (PS) is the second collection of stories by a writer who in the past few years has been making a name for himself with his well-written weird and dark fiction, although he's still better known for being the publisher of Tartarus Press. The ten stories, eight new, are all well worth reading.' Ellen Datlow, The Best Horror of the Year 3
'...readers are held spellbound by Russell’s elegant prose.' Dead Reckonings # 10
'This is an engaging and enjoyable collection from a writer whose work, through the power of suggestion implicit in each text and the oblique narrative strategies, brings to mind that of Aickman, perhaps crossed with some of the more adventurous strands of European cinema.' Peter Tennant, Black Static
'...a worthy successor to R.B. Russell's first collection, Putting the Pieces in Place. It should appeal to those who enjoy well-crafted short stories in general, and strange stories in particular.' Peter Bell, Supernatural Tales 18
'...a remarkable read...' David Longhorn, Supernatural Tales 17
"This collection sets the bar high for himself, not to mention future authors, but also ensures a special place for his fiction in the contemporary weird's bright future. " The Grim Blogger
'...strangely beautiful prose . . . compelling stories.' Risingshadow.net
'...all the stories are elegantly written, clever, classy tales apt to delight the reader throughout the whole volume...' Mario Guslandi, Bookgeeks
'A fine collection at times reminiscent of Machen, Aickman, Ligotti and others but always with that unique R.B Russell style.' Tales from the Black Abyss
'I shall also need to seek the 'sold out' Putting the Pieces in Place, another anthology by RB Russell (Ex Occidente Press) because I now feel I want to be a RB Russell completist!' Des Lewis, Weirdmonger
'The stories in this collection are, to be sure, effective taken individually (I first read "Loup-garou," an unsettling story that has less to do with werewolves than you might imagine, in an anthology, and very much admired it). But read as a cohesive whole, preferably in one sitting, they reveal a profound awareness of human drives and limitations, an understated but very real sense of the large and small tragedies that characterize our lives. Literary Remains is dark fantasy of the first order.' - Brendan Connell, The Stars at Noonday