Praise for Hollow Shores
These stories, these words, represent an honest, scalpel-sharp, and unafraid dissection of the collective British psyche, from its Scandinavian/Celtic origins and their expressions through contemporary England, Wales, the Nordic countries, and the occult waterways of a hidden London, the city's damp arterial crannies and the subcultures that inhabit them. Here are punks, ghosts, vampire-hunters, ancient gods that hate to be neglected. Here is a country and a world teetering on the lip of apocalyptic void. And here are, too, insanities, desperate longings, great loves and rages and beauties. Completely absorbing.
— Niall Griffiths, author of Runt
I very much enjoyed Gary Budden's HOLLOW SHORES, a collection of interconnected stories about British punks/friends/parents some of whom yearn to leave London for rural areas. The book sneaks up the blurry line of weird fiction in unique ways as well. Quiet, unsettling, and at times, quite beautiful. The lyrical stories stand alone wonderfully but together also build to an accumulative effect generally associated with a novel. The overall sense of dissatisfaction (though never angsty) and longing for an ineffable, unattainable ideal in our environmentally ravaged world was authentically and meticulously rendered.
– Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts
Budden’s writing is sparse, terse even, but perfectly suited to the landscapes of dislocation and alienation that are his natural milieu.
– Nina Allan, author of The Rift
Like some mythic counterculture coast; The Snow Goose on speed.
– Tony White, author of The Fountain in the Forest
This blending of myth and reality has personal note: Gary grew up in Whitstable and the area has a strong folkloric identity. He writes weird fiction because that is the only genre that reflects his understanding of this familiar landscape. One way to reconcile the desire for his home space to be closer to its mythical – but not idealised – identity, and further from its proximity to prime UKIP country, is to use techniques of psychogeography, or as Gary calls it ‘landscape punk’. The Hollow Shores are a real place; the name is drawn from history like some treasure previously submerged that has slowly come to light.
An exploration of Britain’s counter-cultures – those swimming against the tide. It’s forged in time and place and as much about memories bound up in steel and concrete, as those evoked by earth, water and sky. And with its white foxes of legend and obscure figures in black, these stories hover just an inch above terra firma.
On the fringes of London, Budden writes about notions of being and belonging: the idea that ‘memory is a marsh’ as the world diffuses in mist and nostalgia.
– The Contemporary Small Press
I don't think I've ever read a collection of stories that fitted together so well before, with each one deepening the same themes to make a powerful reading experience about loss, and belonging, and growing. The final story brings everything together in a way that made me really think about how memories work, and form us, just as landscape brings its influence to bear upon us all too. There's a melancholic intimacy throughout that feels very honest.
– Aliya Whiteley, author of The Beauty
It’s subtle and angry, and lingers long after you finish reading it.
– Bookmunch, Best of 2017
Enchanting, haunting, melancholic. Indeed, I’ve never read anything like it (and probably won’t again).
– Dickens Does Books
A combination of psychogeography, nature writing, folklore, weird happenings and punk pride (no, really).
– Dan Coxon
This is a thought-provoking and insightful sequence of stories in which characters and compass points recur, accumulate, drift back and forth through sluices and conduits to the recent past and the deep past... A powerful and necessary collection, elegiac, ghostly, righteously angry and insufferably sad.
– Ashley Stokes
The story is mine now, too. Breakdown as a sort of healing.
– DFLewis Reviews, on 'Breakdown' featured in Year's Best Weird Fiction 4