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Somewhere Beneath Those Waves

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  333 ratings  ·  51 reviews
*This is a non-themed collection from critically acclaimed author Sarah Monette's best short fiction.
Paperback, 331 pages
Published November 16th 2011 by Prime Books (first published November 13th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,319)
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Miriam
I ordered this because I thought there were further Kyle Murchison Booth stories included. In fact, there is only one, "The World Without Sleep." I see why that wasn't published in The Bone Key, as it is far more fantastical than the other Booth stories.

I was a little disappointed that there weren't more stories with Booth, but other than that I enjoyed the volume and thought most of the stories were good. I few, if one wished to quibble, seemed more thought pieces than stories, and a few were m
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Angela
One of the things I am noticing about reviews for this book is that everyone is coming away with a different experience. For some, these are stories of horrors, nightmares and supernatural dreamscapes. Though I can see those elements present in many of the stories, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is, for me, a collection of love stories.

They are not always straightforward, and they do not always have happy endings. There is darkness, there is tragedy, but above all there are glimmers of hope…often
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Kate O'Hanlon
I didn't really start reading short stories until about a year and a half ago and Sarah Monette is one of the writers who prompted me to take the genre seriously.

There is so much to love in this collection. Monette has such a strange and wonderful imagination and is as skilled in crafting slow, poignant characters studies about grief like 'Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans' Day' and 'Absent from Felicity' as she is telling more action packed, plotty, stories like 'A Night in Electric Squidlan
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April Steenburgh
"On the landing, the roses of the Queen of Elfland, as clamorous as trumpets, continued to shout their glory to the uncomprehending house." ('Sarah Monette, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, pg 185)

Like the Queen of Elfland's roses, the stories contained in 'Somewhere Beneath Those Waves' will sing out their glory long after the reader had turned the final page. Contained within are captive figureheads and selkies, dragons and dreams and all the hopes and nightmares caught in between. The stories w
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Gerhardt Himmelmann
Jun 17, 2012 Gerhardt Himmelmann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Gerhardt by: Laura Bailey
Shelves: read-2012
This is an eclectic and intriguing collection of short stories, almost all of them speculative fiction of one kind or another. Like most anthologies, I found it to be a mixed bag in terms of what appealed to me, but I'll call out a few stories here that I particularly enjoyed:

"Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland" and "Katabasis: Seraphic Trains", although wildly different stories both carried incredible emotional punch. The former is, in my opinion, Faerie done right: wild and seductive. The
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Althea Ann
I am a fan of Sarah Monette. At this point, I’ve read all her books save one – which I’ve got on the way to me right now. Her aesthetic resonates with me strongly.

‘Draco Campestris’ – A mood piece describing a museum which displays the bones of dragons. Full of lovely and disturbing details.

‘Queen of Swords’ - A king’s new bride is haunted by the ghosts of his previous wives.

‘Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans Day’ – A story about mourning a brother who was lost in Vietnam, and how that death
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Wealhtheow
A frustrating collection of sf/f, with a few non-fantastic stories as well. Some are too heavy-handed, many are too short to do their ideas justice, and all too often Monette leans on technique instead of letting her (quite interesting!) worlds and characters speak for themselves. Still, there are enough ideas in here to fuel dozens of novels, so it's worth reading.

Draco Campestris--A taxonomist categorizes the dragon species contained in a universe-spanning museum, all the while hearing rumors
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April
I picked up this lovely book by Sarah Monette because I've read her Doctrine of Labyrinth series as well as A Companion to Wolves (with Elizabeth Bear.) She has a very lyrical style without getting too bogged down in the description. And she loves to write about queer characters. Her characters also tend to have an Otherness to them that I can identify with.

This collection grows in strength as it continues. One of the things that I disliked about the stories is that Monette's heroes and heroine
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Dawn
I am not an existing fan of this authors but I saw the beautiful cover and I'm always happy to read a collection of short stories, especially as an introduction to a new author.

This collection was a mixed bag for me. Some of the stories were boring and if I had rated them on their own I would have rated them 2 star but some of the stories were so good I wished they had a collection of their own and I could read more about the characters and worlds.
It was an enjoyable read, though I am not sure i
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Katie M.
I like Sarah Monette, and she's a totally competent author, but something about these stories just seemed a little - I don't know, conventional? - for a writer who is described in the introduction as "a poet of the awkward and the uncertain, exalter of the outcast, the outre, and the downright weird." Really? In a world where Rikki Ducornet exists, I'm not sure how most of these stories could pass as anything more than tame. But none of them were bad, and a few of them were even quite good. It w ...more
Jennifer Hernandez
I couldn't finish this book. I tried, I really did. I don't think it has anything to do with her writing, I think I was just expecting something else. I didn't like how some of the more interesting stories ended quickly with hardly any explanation and others that weren't my cup of tea were more drawn out.
Julia
I cried while reading “Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veteran’s Day” while answering phones during the public radio fund drive, with Alan Chartock less than 10 feet away, begging people to call and with phones ringing. There are twenty five short stories, novellas, some very short stories, prose poems and poems in this very, very good collection. One, “The World Without Sleep” has Kyle Murchison Boothe from the author’s The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth. “A Night in El ...more
Francesca
4.5/5

L’antologia Somewhere Beneath Those Waves raccoglie venticinque racconti, non inediti, di Sarah Monette.

Alcune storie sono brevissime, solo un paio di pagine, altre sono invece sviluppate più ampliamente, ma tutte sono accomunate da una buona qualità narrativa, una prosa poetica, onirica e vivida, tematiche che prediligono tinte fosche, a volte perché inquietanti altre in quanto quasi orrorifiche.
Questa sorta di “senso di orrore”, tuttavia, nasce da una rarefatta sensazione di timore per qu
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Bec
This little collection illustrates everything I love about Sarah Monette. She has the rare gift of being able to write horrifying, poignant, and haunting stories that don't feel gaudy or trite. Although none of her tales feature the gratuitous gore that tends to come with horror stories, the flashes of brutality she intersperses with lyrical storytelling are all the more compelling because of their rarity.

In contrast to the reviewer below who doesn't like the choices made by some of the 'heroes
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M—
I've got to obtain a copy of this. Some of the stories I loved more than others, but there wasn't a bad one in the lot and that's damned rare for me with story collections.

Assume spoiler in my comments of the individual stories.

Draco campestris
Queen of Swords
Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans' Day
Under the Beansidhe's Pillow (click to read)
The Watcher in the Corners
The Half-Sister
Ashes, Ashes
Sidhe Tigers
A Light in Troy (selected for Best New Romantic Fantasy 2006)
Amante Dorée
Somewhere Beneath
...more
Kris Sellgren
I was lured into reading this collection of short stories by discovering that the author of The Goblin Emperor, which I loved, was Monette in disguise. (I had previously disliked one of Monette's novels.) The title story, in which an artist's scorned wife helps a selkie retrieve her skin, is memorable and uplifting, as is the story of a human mediating a dispute between goblins and vampires. Her award-winning "Three Letters From the Queen of Elfland" was breathtaking.
Candice
There is a quote on the front of this book saying "Sarah Monette writes like a dream" and I have to say I agree. This collection of short stories is exactly what I want in a collection of short stories. Within a few sentences an entire world is established, a fantastic world that I want to know more about. There is magic, and strange creatures and creatures that seem normal at first, then you realize they are stranger than you can imagine. Absolutely wonderful.
My only complaint is that most of t
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Marissa
I was excited to find this book at the library because I really enjoyed her long fiction (such as The Mirador and Virtu), and fans of those books won't be disappointed. The stories in Somewhere Beneath those Waves have the same imaginative, alternative quality that made her novels so enjoyable, and the characters are absolutely fabulous. Where else are you going to find transgender courtesans, bisexual buddy cops, selkies, soldiers, and all of the other weird and wonderful individuals left out o ...more
Orrin Grey
I'm a big, big fan of Sarah Monette, especially her ghost stories. The Bone Key is one of my all-time favorite books. But Monette isn't principally a ghost story writer. She's done a number of fantasy novels, and a host of sci-fi and fantasy short stories. Of those, I've not yet read the novels, but the short stories are mostly collected here, including one rather unusual Kyle Murchison Booth story. I'd read probably a little over half of these before, but it's nice to have them all collected to ...more
Kate Musselman
I'll start out by admitting that I'm not always the biggest fan of short stories - but this collection tore the top right off of my head. These are evocative, beautifully written stories peopled with characters in whom I immediately became invested. My issue with short stories is that I want to become completely immersed in a world, and short stories are usually too, well, short for that. Not the case here; these are fully realized worlds, and each story left me feeling somehow simultaneously sa ...more
Nicole
A compilation of short stories, well thought out, and exquisitely written. Each story will draw you in and leave you feeling breathless. They are magical, thought provoking stories ranging on many varied topics. The darker stories, which I usually shy away from, always had a yearning for hope and goodness. There was always a glimmering light, to leady you out, again. The relieved, happy feeling you experience after you've just woken from a bad dream, that was my experience with many of these sto ...more
Miss
Really enjoyed this one. I read it in bits and pieces at the bookstore so I haven't the memory or the book handy to give a detailed review but I liked it very much overall. The longer stories were much better than the short ones, there were a couple where I figured she must have had a word count limit because they would have been better expanded. I really liked the Jamie and Mick stories, I hope she writes a collection for them someday. 'Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland', 'Katabasis: Sera ...more
Biffbolt
A pretty good anthology. A couple of excellent stories, but also a crop of ones I didn't enjoy quite so much.
Michelle
LOVED:

-Amante Doree
-The Seance at Chisholm End
-A Night in Electric Squidland
-Imposters
Kirsti
Jul 27, 2013 Kirsti rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy classic horror or mythic fiction
Recommended to Kirsti by: Frances
This is a remarkable collection, and reinforces my appreciation of Sarah Monette's skill with the short story genre. On the broadest level, you could consider her a horror or fantasy author, but above all she's a true storyteller. Her characters, plots and even descriptions have woven their way in to my consciousness; and months later, I find myself still thinking back to a character or situation or concept that she explores. I will be on the lookout for other works by this author. She's already ...more
Claudia Piña
Hermosa, hermosa colección de escritos variados. Historias breves, novelettes y poesía de muchos temas diversos.

No conocía a la autora pero me encantó prácticamente todo en este libro. Está preciosamente escrito, las historias magníficamente desarrolladas a pesar de ser breves y los temas todos interesantes y emocionalmente intensos. Desde lo creepy a lo conmovedor, todo es bastante bueno, con solo un par de cosas problemáticas por aquí o por allá.

Fué un gran, gran descubrimiento para mi y me e
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Andrew Neal
The author mentions that some of these stories are closer to novels, and others are closer to poetry. Me, I didn't go for the super-short leaning-toward poetry ones, but the longer short stories at the end of the book were fantastic. The two stories which featured two buddy-cop members of the BPI (kind of like the FBI, but paranormal, or a bit like the BPRD if you read Hellboy, but way less militant) were great, and there were two or three more I really liked as well. I'm going to try to read mo ...more
Susan
Liked the few stories I read - overdue library book my daughter had out so didn't have time to read the entire thing - nor did I really want to. I can't read an entire collection of short stories, one after another like candies in a box, anymore than I can sit through a double feature. I need time to sit with each story. I generally go back and visit again with most short story collections and a good deal of the time just go out and buy them so I can read them at my own pace, dipping in here and ...more
Tasula
Fabulous collection of stories. Hard to believe they were all written by the same person, they have so many different imeagined situations and worlds. Now I have to read Sarah Monette's books, these stories were so good I have to believe her books are excellent too. I am not usually a short story aficionado, but these were SO GOOD, they linger in the memory and strike sparks. Like Janrae Frank, she creates worlds with just a few words. Excellent excellent.
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My pseudonym is Katherine Addison. Katherine reviews nonfiction. Sarah reviews fiction. Fair warning: I read very little fiction these days.

I was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the secret cities of the Manhattan Project. I studied English and Classics in college, and have gone on to get my M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature. My first four novels were published by Ace Books. I h
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More about Sarah Monette...
Mélusine (Doctrine of Labyrinths, #1) The Virtu (Doctrine of Labyrinths, #2) A Companion to Wolves (Iskryne World, #1) The Mirador (Doctrine of Labyrinths, #3) Corambis (Doctrine of Labyrinths, #4)

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“It is said in those districts that not all the trains which run on the city’s tracks are listed in Metropolitan Transit’s compendious schedule. The residents will tell you that after midnight, on some nights, there will be other trains, trains whose cry is different, the bellow of some great beast fighting for its life. And if you watch those trains go past, behind those bright flickering windows you will see passengers unlike any passengers you have seen when riding the trains yourself: men with wings, women with horns, beast-headed children, fauns and dryads and green-skinned people more beautiful than words can describe. In 1893, a schoolteacher swore that she saw a unicorn; in 1934, a murderer turned himself into the police, weeping, saying that he saw his victims staring at him from a train as it howled past the station platform on which he stood.
These are the seraphic trains. The stories say they run to Heaven, Hell, and Faërie. They are omens, but no one can agree on what they portend. And although you will never meet anyone who has seen or experienced it, there are persistent rumors, unkillable rumors, that sometimes, maybe once a century, maybe twice, a seraphic train will stop in its baying progress and open its doors for a mortal.
Those who know the story of Thomas the Rhymer—and even some who don’t—insist that all these people, blest or damned as they may be, must be poets.”
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“Beyond the window, snow fell like frozen drops of poison.” 1 likes
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