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The Road to Woop Woop is a lush collection of literary speculative stories that lauds the untraditional, the extraordinary, the strange, the peculiar, the unusual that exist within and on the borders of normalcy. These tales refuse to be easily categorized, and that’s a good thing: they are dirges that cross genres in astounding ways. Over 20 provocative tales, with seven The Road to Woop Woop is a lush collection of literary speculative stories that lauds the untraditional, the extraordinary, the strange, the peculiar, the unusual that exist within and on the borders of normalcy. These tales refuse to be easily categorized, and that’s a good thing: they are dirges that cross genres in astounding ways. Over 20 provocative tales, with seven original to this collection, and previous works, including: “A Pining,” shortlisted, Bridport Prize; “A Case of Seeing,” honorable mention, Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award; “Mahuika,” highly commended, Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) National Literary Awards; “Swimming with Daddy,” shortlisted, Alan Marshall Short Story Prize.


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The Road to Woop Woop is a lush collection of literary speculative stories that lauds the untraditional, the extraordinary, the strange, the peculiar, the unusual that exist within and on the borders of normalcy. These tales refuse to be easily categorized, and that’s a good thing: they are dirges that cross genres in astounding ways. Over 20 provocative tales, with seven The Road to Woop Woop is a lush collection of literary speculative stories that lauds the untraditional, the extraordinary, the strange, the peculiar, the unusual that exist within and on the borders of normalcy. These tales refuse to be easily categorized, and that’s a good thing: they are dirges that cross genres in astounding ways. Over 20 provocative tales, with seven original to this collection, and previous works, including: “A Pining,” shortlisted, Bridport Prize; “A Case of Seeing,” honorable mention, Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award; “Mahuika,” highly commended, Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) National Literary Awards; “Swimming with Daddy,” shortlisted, Alan Marshall Short Story Prize.

30 review for The Road to Woop Woop, and Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    The Road To Woop Woop And Other Stories has magical realism and poetry in its DNA, and it is not afraid to show it. Bacon laces many of her stories with poetic writing, which sometimes works beautifully, and at other moments it becomes a bit much, leaving me feeling like I'm part of Creative Writing class. So you get a sentence like "He still didn’t answer but his silence never left the table or the saucer or her heart— it lurked everywhere it could hurt.", which is poetic while still being clear The Road To Woop Woop And Other Stories has magical realism and poetry in its DNA, and it is not afraid to show it. Bacon laces many of her stories with poetic writing, which sometimes works beautifully, and at other moments it becomes a bit much, leaving me feeling like I'm part of Creative Writing class. So you get a sentence like "He still didn’t answer but his silence never left the table or the saucer or her heart— it lurked everywhere it could hurt.", which is poetic while still being clear in its poetry. Many more times you'll get something like "Vision dipped her thoughts in K’s coffee and sought for answers buried in dates and resentments in the muddied froth." (Vision is a character name here) or "She tastes of rain and sun and snow.", which sound like they mean something, but their poetry actually makes them wishy-washy and vague. The stories are a true grabbag - there's the aformentioned magical realist semi-fairy tales, there's contemporary drama, science-fiction, fantasy, crime noir. Too many of the stories are too sleight to actually make much of a mark, the stories just suddenly end, as if they were an idea quickly jotted down, to be expanded later. 2.5 stars (Kindly received a review copy from Meerkat Press through NetGalley) The Road To Woop Woop - 3.5 stars Swimming With Daddy - 4 stars A Nursery Rhyme - 3 stars The One Who Sees - 3.5 stars Beatitudes - 3 stars Snow Metal - 3.5 stars A Maji Maji Chronicle - 3.5 stars A Good Ball - 2 stars A Case Of Seeing - 1 star The Enduring - 2.5 stars Five-Second Button - 4 stars Diminy: Conception, Articulation And Subsequent Development - 2 stars Mahuika - 3 stars Being Marcus - 3 stars Scars Of Grief - 3 stars The Animal I Am - 2 stars Ace Zone - 2 stars A Pining - 3 stars Dying - 3 stars Wolfmother - 2 stars Touched - 2 stars He Refused To Name It - 3 stars A Man Full Of Shadows - 3.5 stars Playback, Jury Of The Heart - 2 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    Woop Woop means nowhere in Australian slang. Besides a great titles and an equally great cover, what attracted me to this book was mainly the diversity perspective. I’ve read lots of African fiction and Black fiction from US and Britain, but never from Australia and I was interested to find out how to author blended her flavors as it were. Some of it, it seems much in the same way as some other things I’ve read, going for something like magical realism or just magic, infusing African mythology i Woop Woop means nowhere in Australian slang. Besides a great titles and an equally great cover, what attracted me to this book was mainly the diversity perspective. I’ve read lots of African fiction and Black fiction from US and Britain, but never from Australia and I was interested to find out how to author blended her flavors as it were. Some of it, it seems much in the same way as some other things I’ve read, going for something like magical realism or just magic, infusing African mythology into everyday lives. But other stories went in all kinds of directions, stylistically and thematically. Actually, that’s my favorite thing about this publisher, they put out such genuinely different books. I don’t always love them, but they are always interesting. This was more along the lines of interesting, because I didn’t quite connect with the author’s writing on an emotional level. But intellectually I certainly appreciated her style and talent and versatility. She definitely has a knack of putting her word sandwiches together in new and exciting ways. In the foreword an author I’ve read and enjoyed before compares her writing to a sort of jazz. I’m not sure it was jazz for me, it was more like a sort of freestyle poetry. Poetry, to be fair, isn’t really for me, much like most jazz, but there’s enough foundation to appreciate it without going wild for it. Or maybe it is like jazz in some of the nonlinear approach to storytelling, because I was thinking while reading it about how I’m probably more of a conventionally straightforward narration fan. At any rate, didn’t quite sing for me, but was good enough and different enough to warrant and maintain interest mostly and was short enough to pass for a fresh sampler instead of turning into an entire trying production. Definitely an acquired taste sort of thing. Unlike saying Woop Woop, which is always fun, for anyone. Thanks Netgalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Meerkat Press is quickly becoming one of my favorite presses. Not only are they some of the coolest book people out there, but they are cranking out some pretty cool fiction too! Which is why it hurts me a little to admit I'm kind of on the fence with this one. For starters, hello!? Have you seen this cover?! It's absolutely to-die-for! I'm not a cover snob by any means but damn you guys. It's a serious beaut. And it's only par for the course with Meerkat. They've got a knack for making their bo Meerkat Press is quickly becoming one of my favorite presses. Not only are they some of the coolest book people out there, but they are cranking out some pretty cool fiction too! Which is why it hurts me a little to admit I'm kind of on the fence with this one. For starters, hello!? Have you seen this cover?! It's absolutely to-die-for! I'm not a cover snob by any means but damn you guys. It's a serious beaut. And it's only par for the course with Meerkat. They've got a knack for making their books look goooooood. Also, prepare yourselves. If you're like me and haven't read Eugen's writing before, the woman's prose is super stunning. I've seen it referred to as "cheeky, fiercely intelligent, resplendent, dark, delicious, and evocative" and hell yes to all of it. She writes on another level. And her writing is infused with cultural and geographic slang which was simultaneously fun and frustrating. And the settings of her stories are both realistic but also completely otherworldly. And therein lies the rub. In many cases, Eugen doesn't fully dislose the scifi or fantasy elements, where in others she slaps us in the face with it right up front. Some stories (The Road to Woop Woop, A Maji Maji Chronicle, A Case of Seeing, Dying, Touched, He Refused to Name it) were gut punchers and so gorgeous they took my breath away, and forced me to slow down and digest them because they were just. that. good. While others were harder to get into, the writing and dialogue so stilted and strange that I found myself struggling to capture what was going on and rushed through them just to get the next one. Overall, it was a very uneven collection for me, with many of my favorite stories appearing towards the latter part of the book, but one that I am glad I picked up.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda Hepworth

    In Australia, the slang expression ‘woop woop’ can be used to describe ‘the middle of nowhere’. However, each of these twenty-four distinctive stories took me on a journey which always ended up somewhere, even if that final destination wasn’t quite where I’d imagined it would be and, in a nutshell, that captures for me much of the magic of Eugen Bacon’s awesome storytelling. As always, I found that her writing defies being shoe-horned into any narrow genre, instead it encompasses elements of man In Australia, the slang expression ‘woop woop’ can be used to describe ‘the middle of nowhere’. However, each of these twenty-four distinctive stories took me on a journey which always ended up somewhere, even if that final destination wasn’t quite where I’d imagined it would be and, in a nutshell, that captures for me much of the magic of Eugen Bacon’s awesome storytelling. As always, I found that her writing defies being shoe-horned into any narrow genre, instead it encompasses elements of many, weaving them together in a range of speculative ways to create nuanced yet vivid word-pictures, images which are so much more than the sum of their constituent parts. Within this collection you’ll find shape-shifting characters, a re-imagining of ancestral stories from different cultures, time-travel, science fiction, astrology, vampiric characters, the supernatural, explorations of identity, race and gender – in fact I’m left wondering whether there’s any genre she hasn’t managed to speculatively incorporate into her lyrical story-telling. Some of these stories are chilling, some disturbing, some poignant, some erotic, some sensuous, some humorous, with many incorporating a number of these elements. However, common to each story is the sense of passion which percolates through them, like the words through a stick of seaside rock. This is sometimes quietly gentle, sometimes explosive in its intensity, but is always conveyed using eloquent, poetic language which is a joy to read. In her reflections on love, loss and grief I find that there is an empathetic universality to her writing, something which transcends race, gender, ancestry, identity, yet without in any way diminishing the distinctive importance of each. There was never a moment when I didn’t feel engrossed in these stories and think that the reason for this is because the richness of Eugen Bacon’s prose reflects an impression that she writes from the heart, thus creating a feeling of intimacy which immediately draws her readers into the various worlds she has created for her charismatic characters. I love her epigraph – For the stories we yearn to tell, the diversity of our voices. I am many, betwixt, a sum of cultures – as I feel that this captures so succinctly something which is central to the power of her evocative writing. Although some of the stories in this wonderful collection are very short, none should be read quickly. The captivating quality of the writing, where not one word feels superfluous, made me want to take time, allow myself to become lost in the magic of each story. Then, at the end of each one, I found that I needed to stop and reflect on the journey which had transported me to a different place. So, at a very early stage in my reading, I made the decision to read just two or three each evening, as a ‘before bedtime treat’! I’d find it impossible to choose a favourite because each of the stories resonated in a unique way and, to do justice to them, I’d need to write twenty-four mini-reviews! Instead, what I will do is urge you to discover for yourself how special they are. I can’t finish this review without mentioning Tricia Reeks’ striking and evocative cover design – the promise of a magical journey starts here! With my thanks to Meerkat Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jodie "Bookish" Cook

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book Review Title: The Road to Woop Woop, and Other Stories Author: Eugen Bacon Genre: Literary Fiction/Speculative/Short Stories Rating: **** Review: A little while ago, I read and reviewed The Invisible from the same publisher and was offered the chance to read this collection and jumped at it. As I do with all the short story collections I read, I will be discussing each story individually and then summing up my thoughts on the collection at the end of this review. The forward to this collection w Book Review Title: The Road to Woop Woop, and Other Stories Author: Eugen Bacon Genre: Literary Fiction/Speculative/Short Stories Rating: **** Review: A little while ago, I read and reviewed The Invisible from the same publisher and was offered the chance to read this collection and jumped at it. As I do with all the short story collections I read, I will be discussing each story individually and then summing up my thoughts on the collection at the end of this review. The forward to this collection was written by Seb Doubinsky who wrote The Invisible which I loved, so I could wait to jump into these stories. The Road to Woop Woop This story obviously gives its name to the title and it was a strange, mind-bending story that took me a minute to grasp fully. It follows an unnamed protagonist and their relationship with the beautiful young man called River as they embark on a road trip, but the protagonist is questioning their connection and relationship with River. As the protagonist doubts River parts of him begin to disappear in quite gory fashion until only his eyes and a ghostly body remain. The story ends with the ghostly River embracing the protagonist as they realise, they feel a lot more and wondering whether River will return to his former self at the beginning of the story. The Road to Woop Woop started the collection off with a bang and I can’t wait to see what the rest has in store for me. Swimming With Daddy Swimming with Daddy actually made me tear up a little as it is about a girl reflecting on how her father taught her to swim, coached her even though he didn’t swim himself and nurtured the talent in her with stories. However, we soon learn that her father died and her mother joined him not long after and when her grief is at its strongest, she swims and her father is always there at her side, telling her stories and giving her advice when she needs it most. A Nursery Rhyme A Nursey Rhyme was another dark story that I really enjoyed as it follows Venus, her father Mage and her daughter, Dee. In the wake of the death of Dee’s babysitter, Cora, Venus’ father has come to offer his support and help but he seems to have trouble connecting with his granddaughter and keeps his distance from her. We see that Dee herself is quite strange and doesn’t see the world the same way as other people and we begin questioning why. By the time Mage confesses that Venus was kidnapped by a cult as a young teenager and was gone for months until her father hired a being to rescue his daughter from Lawless to get her back and she eventually fell in love with Lawless’ brother Triton who didn’t have the gift his brother did. However, Dee isn’t Triton’s daughter, and her father knows that she isn’t human and refuses to see her as anything more than a thing. In the end, Lawless comes to Venus in her dreams and in the wake of that moment, Dee kills her grandfather the same way she has done with others, but Venus won’t abandon her child and vows to protect her. I really liked the paranormal/demonic elements of this story especially the relationship between Venus and Lawless as even when she learns what he really is it doesn’t change her feelings about him and their daughter. The One Who Sees The One Who Sees was a really interesting story that you really had to think about to understand. For me I saw it as life through the eyes of young boy who sees a lot more than his parents believe and he attributes animal forms to people in order to express their personalities. His father is an antelope, his mother a lion and he is a leopard. As he prepares to enter a boarding school in the city he reflects on the things he loves about home and the things he saw in a way that is creative, unique and yet heart-breaking when you realise that it is the imagination of a child trying to cope with the harsh realities of life. Beatitudes Beatitudes is another slightly dark story about a family. It starts with the love between a boy and girl, him ordinary while she is beautiful and that gradually turns into hate and anger when she begins to change into someone he doesn’t recognise. The girl, now woman is hateful towards her beautiful daughter, but the man endures until one night the woman transforms the pair of them into a siren and a toad who end up finding something in each that they didn’t get from her. The imagery in this story is outstanding as I feel it is a story about being brave and embracing your true self no matter what it might be and not bending to the pressures other people put upon you. Snow Metal Snow Metal took a more sci-fi turn compared to the more fantastical stories we have seen so far as Torvill meets the woman called Snow Metal while working at the Enclave. She seems to be an android or something like an AI and he is tasked with decoded her memory but when he tries she fights back and manages to escape and he is told by something or someone to win her to their side, making me think that she might be an important part of a war or something like that taking place. I would have like a bit more context in this story as it did leave me a little confused, but it was interesting to read. A Maji Maji Chronicle A Maji Maji Chronicle was one of the more interesting stories in this collection in terms of its fantasy elements. It follows a father and son who are magicians and travel through time, the father is teaching his son the vital lessons he will need for when he becomes a true magician himself and they have entered the year 1905 AD. There they meet the Chief of a village who tells them that the neighbouring villages are being attacked and destroyed by the white men, but they have no way to fight back. The father, Zhorr gives them the ability to turn invisible at will despite the protests of his son, Pickle and they watch the consequences of this decision unfold. Slowly, the Chief morphs into the very thing he claimed to hate before seeing the error of his way. Zhorr takes them back to the moment before he gave them the gift so history plays out in the correct way before explaining to his son the lesson was for him to learn to not alter history unless he has a rule to prevent outcomes like the one they saw before they head back to their own time where Zhorr is going to die, leaving his will with his son. A Good Ball A Good Ball was the first story in this collection that I didn’t really understand and therefore I can’t really comment on it, but I did understand that it looks at humanity and what it means to be human in some sense. A Case of Seeing A Case of Seeing was one of my favourite stories so far as it follows, Detective Chief Inspector Lawfer McDaniel who has the gift of seeing things that have happened when she comes into contact with certain objects which is certainly useful when trying to solve murders. When she is called to the apparent suicide of a Noble Prize candidate, she immediately knows that this wasn’t suicide but murder, but many questions remain. As Lawfer uses her gift to uncover the killer she also begins to piece together the kind of man the victim was. By the end of the story we completely sympathise with the killer as the victim wasn’t a nice man and used people including his wives and lovers to only further himself without a care for their feelings. This is the first story that I would definitely read if it were developed into a novella or even a full-length novel. The Enduring The Enduring was an amazing story that follows Vision and K. It is clear from the beginning that Vision isn’t human or if she is, she is a very extraordinary human. K is her husband but his jealousy and need to possess her is driving a wedge between them. Eventually K becomes so jealous and so driven to possess Vision that he kills her and cuts out her heart, but she doesn’t die. Her human form dies, and she is transferred into another form that stays with K even as he disposes of her previous body and she continue to endure him. This is another story I would love to see expanded on as it has a very interesting premise. Five-Second Button This was yet another story I would like to see expanding with its interesting premise. We follow Abella who is given a special button by her mother and tells her that this button when pushes will do her future down to five seconds so she can experiencing it in advance of it happening. While Abella doesn’t believe at first, she eventually gives into her curiosity and experiences the loves, losses, and tragedies of her future but she still hasn’t seen her soulmate. After a few pushes of the button she eventually meets Beau and knows he is the love of her life, however, she soon discovers that he was told his mother and sister died in childbirth but the picture he shows her is of her own mother meaning they are brother and sister. When she returns to present, she is heartbroken but continue to travel forward to Beau and continues to love him despite knowing the secret they share. Diminy: Conception, Articulation and Subsequent Development Diminy was an interesting story to begin with the ending left me a little confused. We are introduced to Professor John Bates in Londinium. 1905 AD who has been astounding the scientific community with his theories on human behaviour until his theory is disproven by a young man named Freudo. After witnessing Freudo’s experiments in person, Bates knows he has been beaten and contemplates jumping into the future and into a different career as a fashion designer when he is involved in a car accident. The story ends with Bates in hospital with injuries that affect his speech as he tries to explain to the doctors who he is and he must realise in this moment he can recreate himself but I am not sure what the ending was trying to do. Mahuika This was another interesting story as we are introduced to the daughter of the sun and the many lives she has lived, and we join her as she is reborn as a human known as Scorcher. Scorcher ends up meeting a man who loves her dearly but her dual nature and the volatile nature she possesses drive him off at time but they always drift back together until one day it is too much for him to handle and tries to leave but finding himself being drawn back to the sun and burned to ashes in her wake. Being Marcus Being Marcus was one of my favourite stories so far as Marcus is actually Brutus, one of the men that betrayed Caesar and helped murder him. However, it suicide only to be confronted by Julius and handed the sentence of eternal life. He travelled under the name Marcus and wanders for a long time before settling as a fitness instructor in a modern day gym as he reflects on the fact he had to leave behind the love of his life Portia because he couldn’t bear to watch her grow old and die when he couldn’t. However, during this reflection he speaks with Jade who reminds him so much of his wife and brings upon him and desire to be with a woman again, something he has abstained from for a long time and decides this time he is going to give into it as he asks her out for dinner. I would love to see Being Marcus expanded on as it would span timelines between Ancient Rome and the present day as well as combining elements of betrayal, punishment, grief, love and forgiveness into a compelling narrative. Scars of Grief Scars of Grief had a very interesting premise as we are introduced to a nameless author is writing a novel about families of murdered children whose lives where turned upside down by tabloids hacking their phones. However, it jumps back and forth between the author and the fictional story but it seems to blur together making me think that the author and one character in particular are the same person and what we are reading as fictional is actually happening in the reality of the author. The Animal I Am This story was extremely amusing and gave me serious Bridget Jones vibes. We follow two friends, Nisa and Freya as they discuss the breakdown of Freya’s daughter’s relationship. K, the daughter and her partner, C should have been an amazing couple as their zodiac signs are very compatible. However, Nisa explains to Freya that their Chinese Zodiac signs and elements are completely incompatible and dives into her diary detailing all of her key relationship and how compatible they were in terms of the Chinese Zodiac sign which was interesting and quite funny to read. Ace Zone Ace Zone seemed interesting, but it was a little difficult to follow. We follow Ace after Ur killed her husband and she is moving through world looking for men to be made into soldiers that will obey at her command and we witness her seduce and mark one of these prospective soldiers but that’s about it. I would have a like this story to be expanded a little more, but it was still good overall. A Pining A Pining was a great story for me personally, we follow a nameless male protagonist who is pining for his dead sister, Rocket and trying to find her replacement or reincarnation in others and he comes close in Ellie but in the meantime he falls for a woman named Pepper only to be betrayed by her which leave him pining for her too. Eventually this pining grows to great for him to stand and he takes his own life but even right at the end he wonders about the little girl in the park and what she will turn into as she grows. Dying Dying was a dark and hilarious story as we follow Bluey who is living groundhog day but dying in some hilarious fashions every day. However, the second he decides that he does want to die something stops him every time and it is beginning to drive him made until he proves it to his friend Coles. Bluey believes that there is something or someone controlling them and watching them every single moment of every single day which happens to be proven right but it was very funny to read. Wolfmother The title of this story intrigued me, but it was a bit of a let down as it turned out to be a vampire story. We are introduced to characters like Dragon who have animal attributes when a mysterious woman arrives in the bar one day and everyone is drawn to her until one night she is introduced as a vampire called Wolfmother and the story ends. For this story to have been effective it should have been told from the traveller’s point of view as he is seduced and presumably killed by Wolfmother and that would have been far more interesting to read. read more at forthenovellovers.wordpress.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Forsythe

    Whenever I review short stories I often preface it with the fact that short form isn't really my jam. I read it on occasion for various reasons, but it isn't my first love. I tell people this so that they can take it into account when deciding how much credence to give my particular review. Having said all that, I think Bacon's stories were interesting and the writing was lyrical. I thought the collection thought-provoking and emotionally charged. There were times I wasn't entirely certain what Whenever I review short stories I often preface it with the fact that short form isn't really my jam. I read it on occasion for various reasons, but it isn't my first love. I tell people this so that they can take it into account when deciding how much credence to give my particular review. Having said all that, I think Bacon's stories were interesting and the writing was lyrical. I thought the collection thought-provoking and emotionally charged. There were times I wasn't entirely certain what was happening or if I'd wholly grokked the underlying meaning of the piece, but I enjoyed most of them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Missy (myweereads)

    "You know how things happen and it feels like a dream you’re witnessing? But, somehow, you’re also in the dream that is most thoroughly a nightmare?" The Road To Woop Woop and Other Stories by Eugen Bacon is a collection of speculative stories which range from the strange to the absolute peculiar covering untraditional ground to bring a voice to these unique tales. In an interview with author Eugen Bacon we gather some insight into what drove her to write this unique collection. When I came up with "You know how things happen and it feels like a dream you’re witnessing? But, somehow, you’re also in the dream that is most thoroughly a nightmare?" The Road To Woop Woop and Other Stories by Eugen Bacon is a collection of speculative stories which range from the strange to the absolute peculiar covering untraditional ground to bring a voice to these unique tales. In an interview with author Eugen Bacon we gather some insight into what drove her to write this unique collection. When I came up with the idea of a collection, I wanted The Road To Woop Woop and Other Stories to be a body of longing, a sea of memories. I sought an overarching theme of something dying—be it a past, a future, a connection. Some stories like “Dying”, “A Case of Seeing”, “Scars of Grief” and “A Nursery Rhyme” are splattered with literal deaths: It hurt each time he died. The first time it happened, Bluey was on his way to Kinetic, the insurance firm he worked for. That morning he woke up to the alarm at 6 a.m. Showered, cerealed, took the lift to the ground floor. He was crossing the road to catch a No. 78 tram into the city when he went splat, flattened by a truck. A mural on the pavement: flesh, blood, brain and bile. (“Dying”) Some like “The Road to Woop Woop”, “Beatitudes”, “Mahuika” and “The Enduring” have the metaphoric death, perhaps of a relationship, and an ensuring transformation. Tumbling down the stretch, a confident glide, the 4WD is a beaut, over nineteen years old. The argument is brand-new. Maps are convolutions, complicated like relationships. (“The Road to Woop Woop”) Some like “He Refused to Name It”, “Being Marcus” and “Playback, Jury of the Heart” have both physical and metaphoric deaths that are also awakenings. Today, he does not bear the persona of Marcus, the fine gym instructor. He feels like Brutus. And most Brutuses he’s come across in this world are canine. “Here, Brutus! Fetch!” So today Marcus feels like a dog. Same one that bit the hand off its adoring master. Same one that joined the inner circle centuries ago in a conspiracy that shore an empire of its hero. Caesar was a god. He could have saved himself. Almost did too. With a single sword, he could have taken them all, sliced their treacherous hearts one by one. But the moment he saw Brutus approaching with a dagger, “You too, child?” he said, and covered his face. Heartbroken and resigned. But Marcus is changed. He is not Brutus anymore. (“Being Marcus”) Others like “A Pining”, “Swimming with Daddy”, “The Animal I Am”, “Swimming with Daddy” and “The One Who Sees” are filled with yearning and memory, perhaps inside an unsayable dirge. The rest like “A Good Ball” and “A Maji Maji Chronicle” have a hint of one or the other: a longing, a memory, a transformation, even death and transcendence in fragmentation and wholeness. But even the darkness is a playfulness that extends Roland Barthes’ pleasure of the text, where things are made and unmade; Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction that interrogates the meaning of text; Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s rhizome that has no beginning or end—it has no centre, but spreads, as epitomized in A Thousand Plateaus (1987). In writing, mine is a principle of multiplicity. A rhizome that has no rules or laws—it is between things, interbeing, intermezzo. It continuously adapts to embrace other multiplicities. I am always curious, experimenting. My writing can be a distortion that is a wholeness, a divergence that finds its own synchrony in a textual quest for answers. And readers get it—reviews tell me this. For which I’m grateful.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Woop Woop is an Australian phrase for a destination outside your area.  The Road to Woop Woop is a collection of short stories by Australian writers that fall somewhere into the speculative fiction category.  Each story led me on a journey; some of the journeys were to places very familiar and some were to places unknown.  Like any collection of short stories, there were some stories that I liked better than others and characters that I wanted to stay with longer.  Most of these stories had me t Woop Woop is an Australian phrase for a destination outside your area.  The Road to Woop Woop is a collection of short stories by Australian writers that fall somewhere into the speculative fiction category.  Each story led me on a journey; some of the journeys were to places very familiar and some were to places unknown.  Like any collection of short stories, there were some stories that I liked better than others and characters that I wanted to stay with longer.  Most of these stories had me thinking deeply about humanity and the state of the world.   Some of my favorite stories are: A Maji Maji Chronicle, A Case of Seeing, Five-Second Button, Being Marcus and Dying.  A Maji Maji Chronicle follows a magician father and son as they travel back in time to a native village in 1905 as they are being invaded by white men.  The father gives the village leader a magical gift that alters the timeline.  This story had me thinking about the effects of a single moment in history as well as greed and the balance of power.  A Case of Seeing is a great science-fiction mystery that had me wanting more as a Detective with a supernatural gift is called to the crime scene for the death of a Nobel Prize candidate.  Five-Second Button delves into a fantasy that we have probably all wanted to discover at some point, a chance to see your future.  What the character chooses to do with her life knowing her future is really interesting.  Being Marcus is a take on Brutus' betrayal of Caesar where Brutus was given a sentence of eternal life.   It was really interesting to see this character in the present day and the decisions he made.  Dying is a Groundhog's Day-esque humorous take on life, fate and who is ultimately pulling the strings. This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thistle & Verse

    Full review here: https://youtu.be/uQq_G5mMeF4 Full review here: https://youtu.be/uQq_G5mMeF4

  10. 5 out of 5

    Syeda Sumayya Tariq

    Alright, first things first, I just love the cover, so unique and eye-grabbing, and the title too, very creative and just perfect for this short story collection. This is the kind of book I would love to keep on my bookshelf. It’s a collection of 20 short stories, on a wide array of subjects, all unique, and out of the box in their ideas. What’s special about this collection is the writing style, so lyrical, poetic, and kind of abstract. It’s not something that I often like to read, I like my sto Alright, first things first, I just love the cover, so unique and eye-grabbing, and the title too, very creative and just perfect for this short story collection. This is the kind of book I would love to keep on my bookshelf. It’s a collection of 20 short stories, on a wide array of subjects, all unique, and out of the box in their ideas. What’s special about this collection is the writing style, so lyrical, poetic, and kind of abstract. It’s not something that I often like to read, I like my stories, especially the short ones, very clear in what they want to convey. These stories really made me turn the gears of my mind and read between the lines to fully understand what was happening, but it did not take away the beauty of the prose, at times it was the only thing that kept me going, just to see how these words would carry the story that's so out there, and this lyrical prose only added more feel to it. I’m not a big fan of abstract stories but for those of us who are, this is a must-read, one after another, this is a treasure trove of mind-boggling, strange, yet captivating stories, and even though I wasn’t able to fully appreciate them I can tell there’s something really beautiful about both the writing style and these ideas. I’m rating this 3.5 stars rounded off to 4. I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley, authors, and publishers. All opinions are my own. Pub date Dec 1st, 2020.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ariel (ariel_reads)

    This is one of the most unique anthologies I've ever read! Each story I went in having no idea what to expect, and I really enjoyed that kind of a surprise. This ultimately was a really cool introduction to Eugen Bacon's writing and I'd love to continue to read her work. This is one of the most unique anthologies I've ever read! Each story I went in having no idea what to expect, and I really enjoyed that kind of a surprise. This ultimately was a really cool introduction to Eugen Bacon's writing and I'd love to continue to read her work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Stories that speculate, push the boundaries on normalcy, and explore the strange and untraditional comprise the twenty-four stories within Eugen Bacon’s The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories. To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/. These short stories have interesting premises that are explored in both darkness and light, playful manners with writing that has an emotionally captivating and magical quality to it. Each story has a unique fee Stories that speculate, push the boundaries on normalcy, and explore the strange and untraditional comprise the twenty-four stories within Eugen Bacon’s The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories. To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/. These short stories have interesting premises that are explored in both darkness and light, playful manners with writing that has an emotionally captivating and magical quality to it. Each story has a unique feeling to it as it blends aspects from different genres and presents something that is both familiar yet wildly, imaginatively new that implores you to think, which makes it difficult to adequately and succinctly describe a generalized genre or atmosphere of the tales; however, it’s easy, and appropriate, to say that there’s an element of magic and myth wrapped around a more traditional or mundane reality. There were ample descriptions of swimming and water throughout the various stories in this collection, which resonated greatly with me as a former competitive swimmer. Some of the stories read as fairly straightforward and easy to grasp while others read as rather more puzzling, absorbing readers into the narrative to work out what’s occurring; as with any collection of short stories I’ve read, there were those that were stronger or more compelling and those that I didn’t fully connect with but were still intriguing in their own way. Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I was given a copy of this book to supply a blurb for the publisher. Having not read Eugen Bacon before I didn't know what to expect, but here was my honest opinion: Eugen Bacon writes assured, lyrical prose wherein timeless tales bordering multiple genres are hunkered. At the conflux of myth and memory, where cultures meet and twine, her stories devour the past whilst illuminating the future. Reading Bacon is an immersement, a journey. The stories she tells are those to relish. I was given a copy of this book to supply a blurb for the publisher. Having not read Eugen Bacon before I didn't know what to expect, but here was my honest opinion: Eugen Bacon writes assured, lyrical prose wherein timeless tales bordering multiple genres are hunkered. At the conflux of myth and memory, where cultures meet and twine, her stories devour the past whilst illuminating the future. Reading Bacon is an immersement, a journey. The stories she tells are those to relish.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A collection with a unique voice and wide-ranging styles and themes. This would be a good pick for someone looking for unusual and evocative stories to read between times. The whole book feels liminal. If you read these before bed, you'd have weird dreams. If you read them on the commute, you'd spin tales about the people around you and their relationships and secrets. There's a slant-wise syntax happening, but you get used to it and it become its own rhythm. Thank you to NetGalley and Meerkat Pr A collection with a unique voice and wide-ranging styles and themes. This would be a good pick for someone looking for unusual and evocative stories to read between times. The whole book feels liminal. If you read these before bed, you'd have weird dreams. If you read them on the commute, you'd spin tales about the people around you and their relationships and secrets. There's a slant-wise syntax happening, but you get used to it and it become its own rhythm. Thank you to NetGalley and Meerkat Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    My kind of stories - truly unique and often strange! Bacon’s vivid writing style requires your full attention but it pays off as you’re brought to amazing times and places while reading. Favorite stories include: Swimming with Daddy, A Nursery Rhyme, and The Enduring. Looking forward to reading more from Eugene Bacon! Thank you to Eugen Bacon, Meerkat Press, and #NetGallery for an eARC of #TheRoadtoWoopWoopandOtherStories in exchange for an honest review. Review will be posted on NetGallery, Good My kind of stories - truly unique and often strange! Bacon’s vivid writing style requires your full attention but it pays off as you’re brought to amazing times and places while reading. Favorite stories include: Swimming with Daddy, A Nursery Rhyme, and The Enduring. Looking forward to reading more from Eugene Bacon! Thank you to Eugen Bacon, Meerkat Press, and #NetGallery for an eARC of #TheRoadtoWoopWoopandOtherStories in exchange for an honest review. Review will be posted on NetGallery, Goodreads, and Facebook.

  16. 4 out of 5

    James McKinley

    Wow Bacon sure knows how to write beautifully! Some sentences and text structures leap off the page and slap the reader (in a good way), but because it is written in this highly stylized and lyrical way it was hard to understand most of these stories. Unfortunately that means I was unable to connect to many of the themes the author is trying to highlight. I know a lot of what is written is meant to draw out the reader’s emotions regarding relationships, family, diversity, society, inner self, an Wow Bacon sure knows how to write beautifully! Some sentences and text structures leap off the page and slap the reader (in a good way), but because it is written in this highly stylized and lyrical way it was hard to understand most of these stories. Unfortunately that means I was unable to connect to many of the themes the author is trying to highlight. I know a lot of what is written is meant to draw out the reader’s emotions regarding relationships, family, diversity, society, inner self, and so on. It was definitely a blast to read all of the magical realism, fantasy, science fiction, and mythological inspirations that permeate these pages. The highlights for me were the titular story and A Maji Maji Chronicle. I just need a different perspective on all of the other stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shomeret

    I received an invitation from Meerkat to participate in the blog tour for The Road to Woop Woop, a single author short story anthology by Eugen Bacon. I've never read Eugen Bacon, and short story anthologies have been widely characterized as being like a box of chocolates. So I could only expect to be surprised. Flare, the protagonist of "Touched" was repeatedly told "You are the favorite." This story was my favorite because she used her divine gift responsibly. Flare only flared to maximum when I received an invitation from Meerkat to participate in the blog tour for The Road to Woop Woop, a single author short story anthology by Eugen Bacon. I've never read Eugen Bacon, and short story anthologies have been widely characterized as being like a box of chocolates. So I could only expect to be surprised. Flare, the protagonist of "Touched" was repeatedly told "You are the favorite." This story was my favorite because she used her divine gift responsibly. Flare only flared to maximum when she felt under serious threat. There were other stories that I considered good, but didn't impact me as much. There were also a number of stories that didn't impact me at all for personal reasons, but I still thought that every story in this anthology was well written. For my complete review see https://shomeretmasked.blogspot.com/2...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Grabs

    The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories is certainly not for every reader. This collection was not for me despite loving anthologies. The writing style was choppy and hard to connect with (especially with 2nd person) but some readers may love it. The stories were okay but hard to enjoy. Thank you NetGalley and Meerkat Press for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela Maher

    A wonderfully unusual and unique collection of stories. It's difficult to pigeonhole them, but perhaps they are best described as literary speculative fiction. This is not a book to sit down and read in one go. Each story is a form of challenge. A bite of an unfamiliar reality that has hooks in our own. The words are slippery, painting unfamiliar scenes, pieces of somewhere disorientating. They are not easy reading, and require absorption one at a time. A wonderfully unusual and unique collection of stories. It's difficult to pigeonhole them, but perhaps they are best described as literary speculative fiction. This is not a book to sit down and read in one go. Each story is a form of challenge. A bite of an unfamiliar reality that has hooks in our own. The words are slippery, painting unfamiliar scenes, pieces of somewhere disorientating. They are not easy reading, and require absorption one at a time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    The Road to Woop Woop is a very unique collection of short stories by Eugen Bacon. I had never had the pleasure of reading her works before, so I was quick to accept an early review copy from the publisher. The book contains over 20 stories, some have been published before, and some were new. What I found within the pages of this book were thought provoking and enchanting stories. They all flowed like poetry and varied greatly in genre. Like most short story collections there were some stories I The Road to Woop Woop is a very unique collection of short stories by Eugen Bacon. I had never had the pleasure of reading her works before, so I was quick to accept an early review copy from the publisher. The book contains over 20 stories, some have been published before, and some were new. What I found within the pages of this book were thought provoking and enchanting stories. They all flowed like poetry and varied greatly in genre. Like most short story collections there were some stories I didn't particularly like, which in this case might come down to the fact that I didn't understand them. I might have missed the underlying point of them, I'm not entirely sure to be honest. I do think that the author has a way of pulling you into a story and describing the scenery in an almost mythical way. Thanks to Meerkat Press for the review copy!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bel Riddle

    I received an e-copy of this book via Netgalley and I’m so glad I did. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this. I knew it was a short, fantasy stories collection and I jumped headfirst into it, but I got so much more than I anticipated. The myth, the legends, the folklore of every piece are AMAZING and I feel like I was missing out in a very large and very rich part of folk tales. The imagery is so resonant! The colors and the voices these pages portray made me lost completely, I received an e-copy of this book via Netgalley and I’m so glad I did. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this. I knew it was a short, fantasy stories collection and I jumped headfirst into it, but I got so much more than I anticipated. The myth, the legends, the folklore of every piece are AMAZING and I feel like I was missing out in a very large and very rich part of folk tales. The imagery is so resonant! The colors and the voices these pages portray made me lost completely, surrender myself into its impossible stories. Some I liked better, some I felt deeper, but every piece in this collection is quite unique. I feared I was going to dislike some of them because a few are written in second person and that’s something I really don’t enjoy, but the length of the stories allowed me to just roll with it, and I was completely captivated by the third tale. The prose is powerful, and it has a pull that makes you pierce through the scenery and basically observe front row everything. It was kinda magical. Some I want to re read because I liked them too much; some I want to re read because I feel I didn’t get them totally right. But I want to reread this book. And I hope it gets translated to Spanish so my mom can read it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    Woop Woop is Australian slang for nowhere or a distant little town, which lays out of the way. I'm going to guess the author was going for the later, since these stories take one in unexpected directions. There are 20 short stories in this collection, each one ranging in length and style. Some are lyrical, some traditional, and other exploratory. The author loves to march to her own beat and reach beyond the usual borders, and these tales do just that, while incorporating bits and pieces (or some Woop Woop is Australian slang for nowhere or a distant little town, which lays out of the way. I'm going to guess the author was going for the later, since these stories take one in unexpected directions. There are 20 short stories in this collection, each one ranging in length and style. Some are lyrical, some traditional, and other exploratory. The author loves to march to her own beat and reach beyond the usual borders, and these tales do just that, while incorporating bits and pieces (or sometimes more) of Australian lore, myths and the like. Some are magical. Some are simply provocative, but every single one is original and leads down unexpected paths in strange directions...like a road to woop woop. Like with all collections, there were some tales I enjoyed and some which simply weren't my thing. There is an underling thought to each of these, making them anything but light, quick reads. Whether they are worth the time to contemplate or not is something the reader will have to figure out for themselves. The author definitely stretches in various directions and lays more on the darker side of things. A few themes head toward being harsh and seductive, while others simply surprise and teeter toward odd. The author definitely gets kudos for letting her words fly in whatever way she sees best to get across certain emotions and ideas. And I can respect that even if I'm not a fan of every turn she takes. It's well written and does provoke thought. The tales definitely steer clear of the usual market and add some fresh air to the reading pile. Fans of short stories which tend to the darker side, and those ready to stomp down a new direction will enjoy traveling these various paths and end up somewhere or even nowhere at all. I received an ARC through Meerkat Press and found the collection packed with surprises.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Thompson

    Eugen Bacon's collection, The Road to Woop Woop, contains such a variety of genres, it is hard to believe the stories are all written by the same author. But given Bacon is an established, multi award-winning author, it is no surprise she switches between fantasy worlds with ease. The second story in this collection, Swimming with Daddy, absolutely floored me. What a beautiful portrayal of grief, and how the loved ones we lose remain as voices in our heads. Gorgeous. This is then followed by A Nu Eugen Bacon's collection, The Road to Woop Woop, contains such a variety of genres, it is hard to believe the stories are all written by the same author. But given Bacon is an established, multi award-winning author, it is no surprise she switches between fantasy worlds with ease. The second story in this collection, Swimming with Daddy, absolutely floored me. What a beautiful portrayal of grief, and how the loved ones we lose remain as voices in our heads. Gorgeous. This is then followed by A Nursery Rhyme, a fable about parenting, and how dealing with children can sometimes be literally deadly. There is so much to love in these stories, from the fantastic time-traveling lessons of A Maji Maji Chronicle, to how glimpses of our future can be devastating in unexpected ways in The Five Second Button, to deeply engrossing crime fiction in A Case of Seeing. I read a lot of short stories, so my preferences are pretty well-established. I would have loved some of these stories to be a little longer, so I could selfishly spend more time with Bacon's creations. This collection consists of over 20 stories, but I feel the collection may have been stronger had this been whittled down a little. I would recommend this book to everyone, as the variety ensure that there is a lot to enjoy. Bacon is an incredibly exciting writer, and I will absolutely continue to read her work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    (I received a free copy of this book from the publisher as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program) I'm not entirely sure how to rate this collection of short stories, because for me some of the stories worked exceedingly well and I could have read a whole novel based on them, but others left me utterly confused and feeling like I was missing the point entirely. These stories each certainly take some unexpected turns, but it felt like some of them were written so sparingly and were so sh (I received a free copy of this book from the publisher as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program) I'm not entirely sure how to rate this collection of short stories, because for me some of the stories worked exceedingly well and I could have read a whole novel based on them, but others left me utterly confused and feeling like I was missing the point entirely. These stories each certainly take some unexpected turns, but it felt like some of them were written so sparingly and were so short that I couldn't quite grasp what was even happening before the story was over. I found myself re-reading some of the especially short ones and feeling like I was missing something that should have been obvious (i.e. what exactly the story was). Other stories were wonderful, so rich and with fascinating characters that I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to be able to live with awhile longer. As I said, there are several stories in this collection that I quite loved and would have enjoyed a full novel about. It's a mixed bag of a collection, at least for my taste, but I think the stories that really work make the read well worth it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nuha

    Thank you to Meerkat Press and NetGalley for the Reader's Copy! Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble & Indie Bookstore! Eugen Bacon's "The Road to Woop Woop" is one hell of a roadtrip to go on. I don't even know how to describe the unique journey through time, space, language, and genre. There is a focus on relationships, gender, and indigeneity which I greatly appreciated as a reader. Stylistically, though, the language felt a little bit dated and forced, kind of like steampunk. Personally, it Thank you to Meerkat Press and NetGalley for the Reader's Copy! Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble & Indie Bookstore! Eugen Bacon's "The Road to Woop Woop" is one hell of a roadtrip to go on. I don't even know how to describe the unique journey through time, space, language, and genre. There is a focus on relationships, gender, and indigeneity which I greatly appreciated as a reader. Stylistically, though, the language felt a little bit dated and forced, kind of like steampunk. Personally, it was not the right book for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caleigh Rutledge

    I was super fortunate to receive a copy of The Road to Woop Woop from Meerkat Press in exchange for an honest review through Literary Quicksand. Find it here and enter Meerkat's $50 book spree giveaway! http://www.literaryquicksand.com/2020... I was super fortunate to receive a copy of The Road to Woop Woop from Meerkat Press in exchange for an honest review through Literary Quicksand. Find it here and enter Meerkat's $50 book spree giveaway! http://www.literaryquicksand.com/2020...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Luna

    Review to come!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Monique

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jule

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Dawn Drenning

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