The Art of Capturing Phantoms

Definitive Edition

Fiction - Anthology
200 Pages
Reviewed on 10/11/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Karen A. Parker is a Black, bi, non-binary Secular Buddhist from Los Angeles, California. After graduating cum laude from UC Irvine with a BA in English, a Creative Writing Emphasis in Fiction, and a minor in Japanese Language and Literature, they taught English in Gifu, Japan, for three years as an Assistant Language Teacher. Now attending UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA Program, they hope to research Esoteric Buddhism, oral storytelling tradition, and Black liberation for their debut second-world fantasy novel, which will serve as a work of literary art and as an academic thesis. When they’re not writing, they enjoy cooking, cartomancy, composing music, critting in Dungeons & Dragons, and completing their video game collection.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Art of Capturing Phantoms: Definitive Edition is a short story collection by Karen A. Parker. A gifted young girl's world threatens to shatter as doubt creeps into it, leading her to seek help from her five loyal knights. A professor of magic contemplates the usefulness of their after-work hours when a student seeking help gives them a new perspective on things. A podcast host interviews an up-and-coming local entrepreneur, only for things to go south when the interviewee reveals he is a vampire. A woman debates whether or not she should venture into the dangerous woods to rescue her lost husband. A prince would rather die - or become a slave to a former assassin who kills for fun - than partake in an arranged marriage. A daughter sees her mother in a new light after her estranged father makes an unexpected appearance.

Karen A. Parker touches on a wide range of genres to tell a diverse collection of stories, each more unpredictable than the last. The Art of Capturing Phantoms includes tales from speculative fiction to fantasy, sci-fi, and everything in between. Parker has a unique storytelling style that almost feels like a deconstruction of several genres, and it gives the narrative a welcoming breath of fresh air that readers are bound to love. It is impressive how much information they pack into such a short space without wasting a single word. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology and can't recommend it enough.


I’m having a great time reading. These stories may be short reads, but they are worth rereading over and over again. Love to pic the authors brain about these moments they’ve captured (wink wink, roll credits).

I’m always excited to go Home after a long day of work and lose myself in this glimpses of worlds.