I got this book from the library because I'd reserved Gail Z. Martin's new book Deadly Curiosities and I knew if I liked it if want to read the shortI got this book from the library because I'd reserved Gail Z. Martin's new book Deadly Curiosities and I knew if I liked it if want to read the short stories she's publishing in the series as well. I guess she's writing two different short story series and publishing a new story in one series or the other every month. Sounds lucrative. Since she'd already published several of the stories in the Curiosities series in anthologies, that was the only way I could try them. I liked her story in this book a lot. I'd have liked it equally well if I hadn't read the book. It was pretty short, but it captured the city and characters well and it was very intriguing. It certainly would have made me want to find out more about her work and that series if possible. I'd also hoped to read more of the stories in the book. I've been very into short fiction lately and I was interested to find an anthology with so many different authors than the ones I seem to be starting to see over and over again in magazines and anthologies. But I keep getting distracted by other priorities and the book really needs to go back to the library. Audrey Niffenger's story was just OK. And that's sadly as far as I got. Maybe another time. ...more
Turns out I've already read two terrific stories from this book, Kiss Me Twice by Mary Robinette Kowal and Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. ValTurns out I've already read two terrific stories from this book, Kiss Me Twice by Mary Robinette Kowal and Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente. These two were nominated for numerous awards and actually deserved the recognition, they're great stories. I was already planning to read Aliette de Bodard's The Shipmaker very soon as well. So I've got a head start on what could be a very good book, if these three are any indication. It may be some time until I'm able to get back to the whole book though....more
E.J. Swift's story Saga's Children was nominated for the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction in 2014. It's the only storyE.J. Swift's story Saga's Children was nominated for the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction in 2014. It's the only story in the book that I've read so far, though the book looks great and I hope to get to it soon. I'm a bit overwhelmed with short fiction at the moment. If you'd like to read Swift's story it's also posted online, at least as of the time of this review.
Saga's Children was a pretty good story most of the way through, the kind of story people who vote for stories to win awards seem to like. There was some angst, some not at all subtle thoughtfulness. Then the author totally ruined it at the end by putting this totally unrelated thing in. The story is about the kids of an astronaut dealing with their relationships to each other and with their mother. It takes place on the Moon and Mars and Ceres. Then suddenly in the very last two paragraphs it's talking about women looking for people buried beneath the tundra in Siberia with ice picks. It's so melodramatic, it's ridiculous and totally unnecessary. It felt like the author had that image in her mind all along and then wrote the story to try to justify using it, or always wanted to use it and convinced herself that it worked here. But it just didn't work, not for me anyway, the story didn't need it at all and it actually really distracted from the rest of it. It's just hanging there at the end of the relatively decent story, taking it from a bit eye-rolling and dramatic to oy yoy I can't believe she just went there. It was an OK story, but I have a feeling that when I get to read the rest of the book it won't be my favorite in the book. It wasn't my favorite in the BSFA group this year. I didn't get to read the winner, Spin, because it's from a small press and too hard to get. I liked Selkie Stories Are for Losers a bit better than this, it wasn't my favorite but it was fine. Boat in Shadows, Crossing was the fourth nominated story and I really liked that one. ...more
I started this book a year ago when The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi was nominated for the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, and a whole bunchI started this book a year ago when The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi was nominated for the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, and a whole bunch of other awards. I never got back to it after reading that story before it was due back to the library, but this year I got into reading short stories and I'm going back through a lot of the award lists for the last few years. I saw that Elizabeth Bear's story was nominated for a Locus Award in 2013 as well so I reserved the book again. Unfortunately I still didn't get to it quickly enough so it's back to the library again, but this time I really will get back to it before another year is out! The entire book was nominated for best anthology by the Locus Awards and it does look like one that I'd enjoy. Soon.
Pat Cadigan - The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi - I really enjoyed the story. I actually kind of remember reading it, which is unusual. I liked the characters and the set-up, and I could see why it was nominated. Much less depressing than most nominated stories, sort of. Really. It definitely fit the theme of the book too, it was a great way to start it off.
Elizabeth Bear - The Deeps of the Sky - A very good story, rich in detail about the setting and a fascinating glimpse of who these other people might be. A brief first contact story. On her site Bear described it as, "a fable of the perils and pitfalls of sky-mining gas giants… but not only that." io9 still has the story online if you'd like to read just it.
-- I liked Bear's story much more than Mantis Wives by Kij Johnson, nominated for both the Hugo and Lotus Awards, I just didn't get that one. I did like I like Mono no Aware by Ken Liu a lot, that's the one that won the Hugo. I also liked Immersion by Aliette de Bodard quite well, which won the Lotus Award (they seem to get it right a lot). Between that story and The Waiting Stars I discovered that she's written more than a dozen stories in her Xuya universe so I'm going to try to read all of them, many are posted online for free. She has a bibliography with a timeline and many links on her website. Ursula K. Le Guin's story Elementals , also nominated for the Lotus Award, was cute. It was nice to read a story that was clever and charming without being so damn serious, though you could get deep with it if you were trying, I'm sure. Maybe that's what Kij Johnson's was supposed to be too, they're kind of similar in structure actually, but it wasn't for me. All of these stories are available online.
OK, enough off topic rambling and notes that are really for myself. I'll get back to the actual book review eventually....more