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Review – Normalcy Bias

Holly Chism’s new collection of short stories, Normalcy Bias:  Look closer… things aren’t always what they seem to be, is a delightful selection of tales that try to show the reader that they can’t always trust their eyes.


Look closer. The things that you’re assuming you’re seeing? May not be what you think. Is that really a mouse, or is it a Brownie? Is that really an owl? Is that polished gemstone a stone…or an egg?

We take so many things for granted. Some of them may be harmless, but many are a lot less so. I wonder how many people ignore red flags every day, because they only see what they expect to see?

This collection takes what’s “normal” and asks “What if it’s something more?”

From the wee folk to the children of the night, and everything in between, Chism shows us that sometimes reality is twisted just a few degrees from what we expect.  Sometimes, the world shows us a mask and sometimes it just shows us what we expect to see, but the reader is shown worlds where paying attention to the little details can make big differences.

Chism works hard to bring her characters and settings to life, but does not drag out her stories to do it.  This is a quick read, but the stories give the reader a lot to ponder.  I was left hoping that she will come back to each of the worlds she creates in these stories and expand on them, because they all came to life very easily as I went through them.

Normalcy Bias is an excellent book for an evening in front of the fire or a day at the beach, and it is definitely appropriate for anyone from teenagers to senior citizens.  It’s definitely going on my “read again” pile.

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