Next Author: Jack Finney
Previous Author: Adrianne Finlay

Charles Coleman (C.C.) Finlay

Charles Coleman Finlay(1964- )
This author writes as Charles Coleman Finlay and C.C. Finlay. He studied literature at Capital University and did graduate work in history at the Ohio State University, where he was a research assistant on two award-winning books about the U.S. Constitution. Here’s his website.

The Prodigal Troll: Here’s a gem

The Prodigal Troll by Charles Coleman Finlay

Although many cultures have a similar story, the most famous prodigal is that of the parable of Jesus told in Luke 15:11-31. In it, a young man takes his inheritance, leaves his family, and seeks his fortune in the wider world. He soon learns that the world is a cruel place and ends up returning to his father. The term “prodigal” eventually came to mean one who returned after a long absence, usually after finding trouble apart from their families.

The prodigal in Charles Coleman Finlay’s The Prodigal Troll is Maggot, a young man heir to power who ends up being reared by a lowly troll. Similar to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, Maggot is a human reared by a more bestial race. Finlay’s trolls are what we expect: although not savage, they live a primitive, subsistence life, and with the constant push o... Read More

The Patriot Witch: Fantasy set in Colonial America

The Patriot Witch by C.C. Finlay

The publisher's summary adequately describes the premise of this novel, the first foray of C.C. Finlay/Charles Coleman Finlay into historical fantasy. (Prior to this, Mr. Finlay was perhaps best known for his fantasy novel The Prodigal Troll, as well as the gritty, sword-against-sorcery tales of Vertir and Kuikan that graced the pages of Fantasy & Science Fiction.)

Colonial America has been, at least to my knowledge, an under-used setting for speculative fiction, and The Patriot Witch steps nicely into that gap. The first six chapters develop rather slowly, as the hero, Proctor Brown, tries to make sense both of the violence at Lexington and Concord and his own natural talent for magic. But once other 'witches' appear in Chapter 7, t... Read More

Magazine Monday: Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2014

“In Her Eyes” by Seth Chambers is the novella in the January/February 2014 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and it’s a doozy. It’s one of a number of stories and movies I’ve seen lately that address the question of what it is we love when we love someone. Do we love a mind? A body? Both together? Must they be unchanging? They can’t, really, can they, because we all age and grow; change is actually the only constant. And the question goes deeper, to the nature of the mind as an organic, chemical, electrical entity. Chambers examines all of these questions in a love story about a man and an unusual woman; I won’t say more so that you can discover her secrets for yourself (and she is very secretive).

There are five novelettes in this issue. The first is “The New Cambrian” by Andy Stewart, a science fiction tale about an expedition to Europa to study life beneath the surface of the iced-over water world. As... Read More

Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories

Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories edited by John Joseph Adams

Even people who don’t usually read science fiction will often be familiar with a few classic titles in the “dystopian SF” sub-genre. After all, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World are some of the few SF titles that have entered the mainstream literary canon to such an extent that they’ve become assigned school reading for many students. However, novel-length dystopian SF didn’t stop with those venerable classics, and can even be said to be thriving at the moment. See, for example, the recent success of Paolo Bacigalupi’s debut The Windup Girl ... Read More

Oz Reimagined: You might not even find yourself in Oz

Oz Reimagined edited by John Joseph Adams

Oz Reimagined is a collection of tales whose characters return as often, if not more often, to the "idea" of Oz as opposed to the actual Oz many of us read about as kids (or adults) and even more of us saw in the famed MGM version of the film. As its editors, John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen, say in their introduction: "You might not even find yourself in Oz, though in spirit, all these stories take place in Oz, regardless of their actual location." And actually, I personally found my favorites in here mostly to be those stories that did not hew too closely with Baum's characters or plots, but instead took the characters and skewed them, or sent them down a different path than the yellow-bricked one. Though as is often the case with anthologies, I found the collection as a whole a mixed bag, its stories evoking reactions varying from distaste to "meh" to "interesting" to "now that was cool."
... Read More

More by Charles Coleman Finlay

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Wild Things — (2005) A story collection. Publisher’s Weekly: Finlay shows himself to be a versatile writer of imaginative fiction in his first story collection. A Lake Erie couple must deal with the aftermath of their kinky proclivities in the unusual vampire story “Lucy, in Her Splendor.” A wrestling fan finds Lovecraftian weirdness in “The Smackdown Outside Dedham.” The literate, if only slightly fantastic, “Still Life with Action Figure” explores the relationship between an artistic father and son. A theocratic future in which men and women never commingle is the basis of “Pervert.” Examining the meaning of freedom, “We Come Not to Praise Washington” is set in an alternative past in which George Washington died in 1793, Alexander Hamilton is the new “Washington,” and Aaron Burr pleads that Thomas Jefferson be allowed to return from his exile at Napoleon’s court. The brief, teasing “Footnotes” consists entirely of footnotes. The title story takes a different look at a character from Arthurian legend as well as the world of faerie. Solidly told and occasionally memorable, these 14 tales display an insightful knowledge of human nature.