The Absence of Wings by Mark Stewart #ShortStories #EndangeredSpecies #Review by Lisa

Book Review

The Absence of Wings-Mark Stewart

Lisa reviews a very poignant collection of short stories, based on very true and heartbreaking facts.

“The Absence of Wings” is a collection of short stories intended to show the world through the eyes of some of the Earth’s most endangered and persecuted animals.

Absence of Wings (Release Date: January 23, 2017)

The collection is an ark of sorts, offering a literary refuge for creatures that may one day exist only in story books, fables and myths. Here you will find, among other stories: • A mariner snatched from the deck of his ship by a sea wraith • The lament of a whale dragged onto the killing deck of a harpoon ship • A caged polar bear whose only taste of freedom comes from a racial memory of the arctic tundra • A shark that can swim into the sleeping minds of human beings • And a dolphin whose only chance of returning to open water lies in the movement of the tides on one particular night of the year These are stories that will change the way you look at the natural world.


A little-known fact about me is that I have always written poetry and short stories.

I went through a phase of writing from the animal’s perspective, something that I had actually forgotten until I read this book. It was both fun and interesting to put myself in the position of the animal; their experiences, feeling and so on.

This book is exceptionally well written and has some beautiful similes, within each vignette, that helps us to understand exactly what each animal is feeling/experiencing.

There are so many levels to this book and that’s what makes it so beautiful. It is painfully articulate, I am aware this seems like both a compliment and an insult but bear with me. It is so graphic and raw that it is overwhelming but that is why I have chosen this choice of words ‘painfully articulate’.

I found myself torn with my emotions due to the writing style and this is something I, personally, love.

While reading, I was wondering is this was a book that would be suitable for a wide range of people and at the same time my daughter (who is 9) asked if she could read it when I was finished. Being more innocent, she saw things that I had missed and it was a delight to see that it was something that could be enjoyed by all.

Rating… A

This beautiful book is available for a song on Amazon

About the Author

Mark Stewart was born in 1962 in London. He is the author of two collections of short stories: “The Screaming Planet” and “The Absence of Wings.” He also co-authored and co-edited the biography “Arthur C. Clarke – A Life Remembered.”

In 2014 he won the Sir Patrick Moore Medal for services to the British Interplanetary Society where he founded and edited the e-magazine, “Odyssey”, for two and a half years.  

His articles and essays have been published in “Spaceflight”, “Astronomy Now”, “Foundation” magazine, and the journal of the British Astronomical Association.

He now lives in the Surrey hills; members of his non-human family include rabbits, horses, foxes and hedgehogs.


4 thoughts on “The Absence of Wings by Mark Stewart #ShortStories #EndangeredSpecies #Review by Lisa

  1. Beware Of The Reader

    I would be a huge blubbering mess reading this book! I’m an animal lover through and through and can’t visit zoo as I think animals are better free than displayed beyond cages for our pleasure. The only “zoo” I can stand are thos filled with injured animals and unable to survive into the wild. So as you said, this book won’t be for everyone even if I’m sure it’s gorgeous!

    Liked by 2 people

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