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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
A Bird of Dereliction is a collection of 12 surreal tales. Written by Charlie Selkirk, these short stories push the boundaries of your imagination to provide some poignant insights into the human condition. A person suffering from severe societal alienation visits a physician for a cure and ends up causing a disaster. A dignitary from a dying planet seeks a remedy for his deteriorating health from a healer on Earth who has other plans in mind. A serial killer indulges in a poison-inducing dialogue to lace a pear with toxicity. The threat of a roaming polar bear causes havoc inside a university campus, signaling the advent of a mass extinction event. After unexpectedly losing a tooth, a man calls upon an old dentist friend for help, only to watch him turn into a sack full of legumes.
Wacky, to the point of being bizarre, A Bird of Dereliction is a short story collection unlike any other. And I mean that in a good way. Author Charlie Selkirk takes readers on a wildly unpredictable journey, traversing the realms of magical realism, fantasy, and sci-fi to bring you a collection of stories that touch upon some relevant real-world social issues, all packaged within a potent brew of dark humor, absurdism, and satire. Each tale provides a different perspective on the human condition and challenges the preconceived notions of humanity and all it entails. Selkirk's dry humor and sarcastic wit hit all the right notes, and you may find yourself laughing at some of the most inopportune moments. I can't reiterate enough how much I loved A Bird of Dereliction—recommended to all short story lovers.