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Shoggoths in Bloom and other stories

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Short fiction from Elizabeth Bear, recipient of the "John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer." Includes her Hugo- and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winning "Tideline" and Hugo-winning novelette, "Shoggoths in Bloom," as well as an original, never-published story. A World Fantasy, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick nominee, Bear is one of speculative fiction's most acclaimed, ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 31st 2012 by Prime Books (first published March 2008)
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The Last Castle by Jack VanceThe Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette KowalShoggoths in Bloom and other stories by Elizabeth BearHell is the Absence of God by Ted ChiangFire Watch by Connie Willis
Hugo Award Winners: Best Novelette
3rd out of 52 books — 6 voters
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferI'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally CarterThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Books with Really Long Titles
321st out of 547 books — 180 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 646)
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Beth Cato
I received this gratis e-ARC through the publisher on NetGalley.

I'm very familiar with Elizabeth Bear's work. I have followed her blog for many years, read several of her books, and a number of her short stories. It turned out that I had already read about 1/3 of the stories in this anthology--but I didn't mind in the least. I connect much more with her shorter work than I do her novels, and it was a joy to re-read her masterful work such as "Tideline," "Shoggoths in Bloom," and "The Girl Who Sa
Let's be honest for a minute. I only picked this book up off the Library shelf because it had "Shoggoths" in the title. Let that be a lesson to me.

I enjoyed the eponymous short story, because it was about Shoggoths and they were done well (there are no other mythos intersections, however). I also rather liked "The Cold Blacksmith". The rest of these stories are depressing, formulaic, and uninspired. The formula involves sacrifice, bittersweet and/or cathartic endings, and the lead character dyin
Short story collections vary in their quality. That’s pretty much a given, an acceptance that just about everyone has when they start reading. Some will be better than others, some you may want to skip to get to better things ahead, others are so dull they may tempt you to put the collection down entirely.

This wasn’t the case with Shoggoths in Bloom.

Perhaps it was due to the fact that all the stories in here are written by Elizabeth Bear and aren’t a collection from multiple different authors wi
"Tideline": Loooooooved it. I love it when Bear gives souls to soulless things, eg robots. Plus the new importance of oral storytelling in post-apocalyptic world so yeah FEELINGS. 5/5

"Sonny Liston Takes the Fall": This one is very understated and at first I was like "ehhh that was ehhhh" but it stuck in my brain and percolated for a while and it's really quite lovely. 5/5

"Sounding": Whales, man, they'll kill ya??? I didn't really get this one. 2/5

"The Something-Dreaming Game": heebie-jeebies, au
I loved this so much I will review each story INDIVIDUALLY.

A damaged war robot and her pet boy, seaglass, and storytelling.

I love this one. The narrator is the spirit of Vegas and the story is about boxing and the price of magic, and that sometimes the person who pays for a thing is not the person who gets to use it.

Also about magic and who pays vs who enjoys, but this time with whales and a bro who makes a bad call.

Kate O'Hanlon
These stories have been festooned with awards, honourable mentions and places in years best anthologies. Rightly so, Bear is a master of short fiction. As with her first collection, Shoggoths in Bloom spans a variety of genres and sub-genres, there are battle robots mourning fallen comrades, politically savy princesses in eastern inspired fantasy worlds, scientists in near future labs, blacksmiths forging hearts, corporate spies, personified cities, broken down boxers, and hard choices.

She loves
Pop Bop
Sample Bear's Range and Diversity

Here's the thing about anthologies, and about attempts to review, describe or comment on anthologies - well intentioned blurbers and reviewers give you one sentence summaries of the most remarkable stories, or even of each story. Depending on whether they liked the collection or disliked the collection they can easily make each story sound fascinating or tedious and derivative. The summaries are helpful, of course, and can be tasty come-ons, but it's hard to gaug
Bought this because of the mention of one of Lovecraft's famous monsters in the title. Unfortunately, that is the only story in the bunch that is Lovecraftian. I wish there were more because she did an excellent job with it, but the remainder of the stories are mostly sci-fi, with a couple urban fantasy. I was quite surprised to find myself enjoying the urban fantasy yarns ("Cryptic Coloration" and "The Horrid Glory of Its Wings") because I've never had much interest in the genre. I need to dig ...more
Carey Gibbons
This is really an incredible collection. I read Shoggoths in Bloom and enjoyed every page. Some of the stories weren't what I would normally read (yay for broadening horizons!), but I can say with confidence that every single one was beautifully written. Elizabeth Bear has a gift for language. I can't wait to read more of her work.
If we assume for a moment that Lovecraft was a long way from the best Lovecraftian author, we must then ask ourselves: who was/is? This collection bring Elizabeth Bear into the same league as Ligotti and more than a step above Lumley in that competition. Her work evokes a sense of brutal hopefulness in which there is only light that lets you see how terrible the odds stacked against our existence are, and her characters explore the dark corners of this shadowy hope in new ways in each story. The ...more
I've really enjoyed Elizabeth Bear's books. I've read a few of the stories in this collection before. And was looking forward to reading the rest for the first time. Of the 20 stories here, here are a few of my favorites (and I've reated the collection based on these high points rather than an average):

It's easy to see how Tideline won a Hugo Award for best short story. It uses a sci-fi setting to tell a poignant tale set after some ambiguous future war, a meeting of two characters: one is a "ve
Dec 19, 2012 Naiya rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: scifi
Elizabeth Bear has been on my radar for a while, so seeing Shoggoth's in Bloom up for grab, I went for it (complimentary copy courtesy of the publisher, thank you!).

This short story collection brings together 19 short stories by Elizabeth Bear, including two Hugo winners, "Tideline" and "Shoggoths in Bloom," plus one never-before-published piece original to the collection, "The Death of Terrestrial Radio." With one exception, the stories average around a few-to-twenty pages and cover a truly mi
Midu Hadi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Also on A Book With A View .

“Shoggoths in Bloom” is an anthology of Elizabeth Bear’s short science fiction and fantasy. It includes Hugo and Theodore Sturgeon Award-winning “Tideline” and Nebula-winning eponymous novelette.

This book was a surprise. I must admit I was taken aback a little when the first story in a book titled “Shoggoths in Bloom” opened with:
”Chalcedony wasn’t built for crying. She didn’t have it in her, not unless her tears were cold tapered glass droplets annealed by the infer
This is a collection of some good, some very good, and a couple of really excellent stories. There are both science fiction and fantasy works, all very densely written, serious, and well thought-out, in which not everything is always explained clearly; some of them are quite challenging and thought-provoking. "Tideline" and "The Girl Who Sang Rose Madder" were probably my favorites; there were a couple of stories that didn't do much for me one way or the other, but there were none that I would s ...more
I often struggle to define my response to Bear's work. I first encountered it in Range of Ghosts (I was late to the party, obviously!), and I was struck by her language - spare, hard, sometimes chilling, but also rich and vivid. Her characters catch your attention, and the things that happen to them hit hard.

I've read her short story in Queen Victoria's Book of Spells, but otherwise Shoggoths in Bloom is my first exposure to her shorter fiction. My favourite stories - the title piece, "Tideline
Shoggoths in Bloom was an unexpected pleasure. I've heard about Elizabeth Bear before, and Shoggoths in Bloom in particular. These short stories generally operate within sci-fi/horror, but only in regard to setting or context. The underlying themes of Bear's stories belie the expectations of genre fiction; these are stories about nurturing, loss, aging, memory, freedom, rebellion, revenge, and gender roles, among others. Not to misrepresent: Bear certainly demonstrates a firm command of sci-fi a ...more
Despite the title, this is not a collection of "lovecraftian" style stories. This is a collection of Elizabeth Bear's sci-fi and fantasy short stories. One of them ("Shoggoths in Bloom") is inspired a bit by lovecraft, but has a completely different attitude towards the material. The quality of all of the stories in this volume is top notch but the range imagination for each of the different settings that Bear conjures with these stories is amazing. Of all of them, my favorite was hands down "In ...more
First of all, many of the stories in this collection are wonderful. I was genuinely impressed.

But, there were two things that really irritated me, and deserve to be mentioned: (1) the editors at Prime Books should be ashamed for essentially doing zero copy editing; the text is rife with typos that could have been easily corrected; and (2) whoever decided to request that Elizabeth Bear's BOYFRIEND write the introduction was an idiot. Scott Lynch's intro is, predictably, a ludicrously over-the-top
Tim Hicks
I can't give this five stars because it left me feeling as if I had eaten two pieces of a rich cake that is far too rich for two pieces.

The stories are so very different that it is hard to believe one person wrote them all.
It also means that it is very unlikely that one reader will like all the stories.
Check her varied list of novels, too - can THEY all be from one person?

"In the House of Aryuman .." and the title story were particularly fine, although "Shoggoths ..." might just be trying a l
Kris Sellgren
This collection of short stories is mostly very good and sometimes excellent. The stories "Orm the Beautiful" (dragons) and "Tideline" (robots) are moving and melancholy. I liked the competent heroine of "Confessor" (detective tracks eco-crime and murder), and I particularly loved seeing Matthew, the hero of Blood and Iron and Whiskey and Water, in the story "Cryptic Coloration".
Like all collections, there were a few stories that made me go, "Meh," but most of these were very good. I'd already read most of the stories that were available online. Of those that were new to me, I especially liked "Confessor," "Leavings of the Wolf," and "Cryptic Coloration." I'm intrigued by the shared setting of "Dolly" and "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns," and I hope Bear continues writing in that world.

Update! "In the House of Aryaman..." is now online.
Liked a few but not majority.
Holy crap these were good short stories. Granted, Elizabeth Bear is a genius. But this collection was a thousand times better than The Chains That You Refuse, and that's coming from someone who absolutely loved Chains.

Some of them were very LONG short stories. But all of them were absolutely captivating, thick and meaty and wonderful.
I had the distinct privilege and challenge of spending a week at Viable Paradise XVI with Elizabeth Bear. While reading this book, I heard snippets of her lectures, her jokes, and her insightful critiques.

Apart from being an awesome human being, this woman can write. Really write. The short fiction collected here displays an impressive range of styles and temperaments, and I heartily recommend it.
Wow! Fantastic writing! My mind was stretched almost to the breaking point by author Elizabeth Bear's inventions, and descriptions that left me wanting to savor them like a dark chocolate truffle. With a cognac center. This is the first book I've read by this author, but I'll definitely be reading more!
I've decided to read this to test whether I like Elizabeth Bear style. I do! Very good blend of Lovercraftian unease of narration and an interesting contemporary plot.
David Marshall
This impressively eclectic collection manages to span science fiction and fantasy with equal ease, provoking thought at every turn.
Una interesante recolección de la obra de Bear, dieciséis relatos, la mayoría ya publicados anteriomente, que recorren una gran variedad de generos y estilos, desde relatos policiacos a alegorías mitológicas.
"Shoggoths in Bloom" and "Sonny Liston Takes the Fall" are the standouts, and maybe "Tideline." Everything else is interesting, at least. That's higher praise than it sounds.
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Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. This, coupled with a childhood tendency to read the dictionary for fun, led her inevitably to penury, intransigence, the mispronunciation of common English words, and the writing of speculative fiction.

She lives in Massachusetts with a Giant Ridiculous Dog. Her partner, acclaimed fantasy author Scott Lynch
More about Elizabeth Bear...
Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, #1) Hammered (Jenny Casey, #1) Dust (Jacob's Ladder, #1) New Amsterdam (New Amsterdam, #1) Blood and Iron (Promethean Age, #1)

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