The Follower / Tree Ring Anthology

Reviews so far of these two stories:


THE FOLLOWER by Tony Lovell

In The Follower, Tony Lovell invites us to follow the life of his protagonist Dorothy through well chosen moments stretching from her early childhood to a time when she is a grownup and a parent to her son Kevin. Books and readings of particular books, at certain points in time have different consequences, consequences that Dorothy herself comes to terms with- or fails to come to terms with- on various levels. The sections depicting the young Dorothy were effectively done, and the echoes and repercussions of those experiences later in her life are well handled as well, the scenes between Dorothy and Kevin particularly effective towards the end of the tale.

“The Follower” by Tony Lovell traces the melancholy connection between a woman and the stories of “her” anthology from youth to old age.

Other favourites include The Follower by Tony Lovell a moving tale focusing on one woman’s life and the emotional power of books.

“Tony Lovell, who provided the book’s distinctive cover art, also delivers one of its most memorable stories in ‘The Follower’…” (Black Static #25 – TTA Press)


Daniel Ausema uses the cross-section of a tree to show us a map of its history, drawing us far back in time beginning at the tree’s heartwood pith and tracing an unsettling line all the way to the present day at the very outer edge of the cambium, and in a final twist- beyond. The story is densely packed with rich, suggestive imagery. The original variation on the theme is refreshing, and the tale’s fantastical elements are also aptly employed to highlight environmental concerns.

Second up is my favourite story in the book. “Tree Ring Anthology” by Daniel Ausema is one of those unique and wonderful curiosities that always pop up in DF Lewis publications. The extraordinary account of a tree’s life, it is told through an analysis of its rings that map out the residual scars of disease, fire and human intervention. Anthropomorphic, dark and strangely moving, this is a superb piece of unconventional storytelling and a great twist on the theme.

Perhaps the most interesting of these interpretations is Tree Ring Anthology by Daniel Ausema that uses the pattern of rings in a tree trunk to chart significant events over the course of many years – including a nuclear holocaust and what appears to be the appearance of extra-terrestrial life forms. It’s a clever story, beautifully written and even manages a sting in the tail.

Daniel Ausema’s “Tree Ring Anthology” uses the description of the rings on a tree stump to recount a range of ecological nightmares with a science fiction edge, demonstrating again that perspective and voice can lend any subject a strange and disturbing atmosphere.

There’s environmental awareness in Tree Ring Anthology by Daniel Ausema a powerful, at times poetic, piece which uses the rings of a tree as an anthology of the impact of man on the environment.

“Anthologies are books and books (except for their digital counterparts) are made out of paper, which in turn derives from trees, a fact that is central to Daniel Ausema’s ‘Tree Ring Anthology’, one of the most original variations on the theme of this collection.” (Black Static #25 – TTA Press)
Any further reviews of these two stories after 20 Jan 12 will appear in the comments below.


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4 responses to “The Follower / Tree Ring Anthology

  1. The tales that really gripped me were Colin Insole’s ‘The Apoplexy of Beelzebub’, Tony Lovell’s ‘The Follower’, Christopher Morris’s ‘The American Club’ and Reggie Oliver’s ‘Flowers of the Sea.’

  2. “the wonderfully bleak distance achieved from recounting the events found with the rings of a tree in Daniel Ausema’s ‘Tree Ring Anthology’”

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