(Earthling Publications, paperback, 112 pages, $14.)
is a man in his seventies, still living near where his beloved wife
disappeared without trace, fifty years earlier. Deciding to set his
house in order, he begins to clear up the special place he and his wife
had by the river, and he makes a discovery...
Once you get past the slightly contrived opening (why has Gordon waited
fifty years to clear up the woodlands around his house?), Riverside
Blues is a long, atmospheric dark fantasy novella. As the story
is not all told from Gordon's viewpoint, we know in advance of him what
really happened all those years ago, which adds tension to what is really
a fairly leisurely-paced story. But it's a good one, with Tomblin leading
us up to a surprising ending with some assurance. Riverside Blues
may amble a little too much for its own good, but there's enough there
to make you look forward to what Tomblin -- a new name on me, I confess
-- will do next.
Riverside Blues has an introduction by James Newman and cover
artwork by Jackie Berkley. It is available in two states: a run of 300
numbered paperbacks, signed by the author, and fifteen lettered slipcased
handmade hardcovers, signed by both Tomblin and Newman. The latter is
sold out at the time of writing.