Showing posts from June, 2018

April-May 2018 Short Fiction Recs

April and May brought so many stories of strangeness, beauty, love, and darkness. Here's a sampling of just some of what I loved.  Stories of Beauty, Strangeness, and Love “Mothers, Watch Over Me,” by Maria Haskins in Mythic Delirium I confess that I’m not even a dog person, yet this story nearly had me in tears. In a post-apocalyptic world, a dog named Maya gives birth to a sickly pup. Although she has lost puppies before, she knows that this one must live, and she is determined to do all she can to make it so. Maya carries her litter of pups in a basket with her into the Forbidding, on a journey to the towers of God for help. A beautifully written, delicate, and poignant story of love, survival, and determination.   “Strange Waters ” by Samantha Mills in Strange Horizons Another story about a desperate (this time human) mother. Mika is a sailor who is lost at sea. She knows where she is in relation to the coastline and her home city of Maelstrom. But

Quote: Alexander Chee on writing

Alexander Chee on writing: “All my life I’ve been told that this isn’t important, that it doesn’t matter, that it could never matter. And yet I think it does. I think this is the real reason the people who would take everything from us say this. I think it’s the same reason that when fascists come to power, writers are among the first to go to jail. And that is the point of writing." --Alexander Chee, from his essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Review: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I finished R.F. Kuang’s debut novel, The Poppy War , yesterday and I’m still reeling. This is a brilliant and devastating book, set in a secondary fantasy world inspired by the events of early twentieth century China and the aesthetics of a much earlier time period. It’s gotten significant buzz for its unflinching portrayal of war’s brutality-- “A masterpiece by grimdark’s newest and perhaps darkest daughter” Fantasy BookReview raved  —and indeed, it is dark. Drawing heavily from real-world events of the Sino-Japanese wars, how could it not be? Yet though there are grim elements from the beginning, there are also snappy one-liners that had me laughing out loud, a winningly snarky voice, wild magic (with a dash of whimsy) and captivating characters that breathe and grow. It’s an unflinching look at the worst of violence, trauma, and vengeance. And it’s also a coming-of-age story, a story about friendship, and a thrilling, propulsive ride which tore my heart to pieces. The st