Emerald Eye: The Best of Irish Imaginative Fiction – Aug 2005
The World SF Blog – Mar 2011. Click here to read the story
John Kenny’s ‘Encore’ is an intriguing piece, more an evocation of a mood than a strong narrative, but it is effective. Fermino Salousse lives in Maputo, Mozambique, and is dying from some unspecified disease. Shunned by nearly everyone, he makes his way through the heat and dust to the Parque José Cabral to see a travelling circus. From one tent, spectators emerge dazed and stunned; curious, Fermino makes his way inside and witnesses what may be a miracle, or what may simply be another illusion. The ambiguity of the ending is not a cop-out, or a hopeful attempt to substitute confusion for meaning, but emerges from Fermino’s character. The prose is solid, with a blunt naturalism that serves to accentuate Fermino’s plight.
- Tangent Online
John Kenny’s ‘Encore’ is another fairly gentle tale but again with a slightly darker backdrop. Its supposed genre content might be genuine or it might be trickery, but it doesn’t really matter: the story concerns second chances and hints at hope for such an end.
- Yet Another Book Review Site, Shaun Green