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Map of Dreams

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Set in a reality where nightmares do not fade upon waking, this anthology skims along the surface of life and dips just beneath, revealing the hidden machinations that fuel dreams. These underlying myths and fantasies exist not as musty old stories but as ancient truths that have come to illuminate the modern human condition. The title story touches on themes of grief, red ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published October 28th 2006 by Golden Gryphon Press (first published October 1st 2006)
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Sofia Samatar
In this book, there is a perfect story. It's called "Cold Fires." It's about a couple stuck indoors together on a bitterly cold night. The weather's so bad that cars won't start and the power lines are frozen, so what can they do? "They decided to tell stories, the sort of stories that only the cold and the fire, the wind and the silent dark combined could make them tell."

The woman begins. "I grew up on an island." She tells a story of witches and strawberries, a story that makes her look strang
This is not a happy, joyous book. Despite the fantasy elements, the stories show all the different facets of the suffering of life that I don't see much outside of Raymond Carver's collections. Except that the pain of the characters isn't hidden under even a thin veneer.

But the stories aren't devoid of hope, unless you're talking about optimistic, feel-good, against-the-odds kind of hope. The collection seems more about the kind you find in real life, that of scarred people who find their hope
Eleanor Toland
Map of Dreams is a collection comprising a novella (also titled Map of Dreams and a series of interlinked short stories of a fantasy nature. The book has no less than two introductions (one of which is written by the novella's main character) and an afterword. I didn't think the ephemera was justified. I generally don't care for introductions unless they reveal some vital historical/social context. Christopher Barzak's essentially boiled down to "Mary Rickert is a really nice person", which whil ...more
(9/10) This one is hard to get your hands on, but definitely worth it. M. Rickert is a master on the micro level, stringing together perfect sentences that reverberate with mythological clarity. Her stories are often folkloric, and frequently question the divide between fantasy and insanity.

Rickert's attempts at longer narratives don't quite work as well -- the titular novella is full of excellent moments but fetishizes Aboriginal culture to an unfortunate extent, and the other long story toward
Full disclosure here: I LOVE M. RICKERT. She is a personal friend.

That said, this book is brilliant and I'd say it even if I hadn't read it. She is truly a genius with the short story. It's such a joy to read someone who takes short stories in and of themselves so seriously.

Also, her stories can be extremely creepy. Not in a blood-n-guts way, but in an OMG people-can-be-awful-including me kind of way. You've been warned!
Theo Logos
Outstanding writing, but the mood and tone of the stories just were not to my taste. It was recommended to me as speculative fiction, but was much closer to magical realism. The author is obviously quite skillful, and it is only a matter of personal taste that keeps me from giving this one a higher rating.
Magical realist short stories with a starting and ending story about a young girl that dies, as well as themes about dreams and eggs. I really liked it.
Jul 24, 2011 Lesley marked it as gave-up
Haven't actually finished, but putting on one side to see if I return to it. It's been lingering on rather.
Some stories I liked, some I really loved. A new favorite author.
Gregory Frost
Wonderful work as always from M. Rickert.
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M. Rickert also writes under the name Mary Rickert. How did this happen and why, you might ask. It is a reasonable question but that does not mean the answer is reasonable as well. There was a time when M. was a young writer, scribbling in notebooks and on the back of envelopes, who thought she wanted to disappear behind the stories she wrote. (She still feels that way, and rather enjoys writing a ...more
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