I would have never discovered Eugie Foster if it weren't for K. Tempest Bradford's call to read more diversely. I would have never discovered Eugie FoI would have never discovered Eugie Foster if it weren't for K. Tempest Bradford's call to read more diversely. I would have never discovered Eugie Foster if I hadn't taken a look at my own reading and realized it was 99% white women, and vowing to change that. I would have never discovered Eugie Foster if I hadn't started following SF fandom more closely. I would have never discovered Eugie Foster... ... and my life would have been the poorer for it.
Reading her stories is a bittersweet feeling. They are all amazing. Her talent shines through each one, and she completely reinvents the vampire mythos in several different ways in this collection, and tells each story in a compelling fashion. Each story is different; the voice of each story is different. But each is wonderful. But it's hard to read anything she's written without experiencing incredible sadness, knowing that she's gone and there will be no more.
These stories are dark. They're gritty. They're hopeful. They're inspiring. Several of the stories play around with Eugie's own relationship with her own muse, which she admittedly calls a "crack whore", and vampires are depicted as both the source and destroyer of inspiration. I admit, I loved those stories the best. There's also a story that was oddly different from the others, in which there is a war between vampires and humans, in a fascinating world I wanted to see more of. And one incredible story that re-envisions the Sleeping Beauty story....more
I received a free advanced review copy from the publisher via Netgalley.
Nalo Hopkinson has been on my radar as an author I need to read for awhile butI received a free advanced review copy from the publisher via Netgalley.
Nalo Hopkinson has been on my radar as an author I need to read for awhile but I hadn't, so as soon as I saw this title, I knew I had to request it. I'm not normally a giant fan of short stories, preferring longer works as a way to really get into a story. So I was very pleased that I fell into this collection and if not out-right loved every story, at least liked them all.
As with any short story collection, there are some gems that shine brighter than others. Hopkinson tells stories where the magical is ordinary; stories that show the best and the worst of human nature; stories that are uplifting, horrifying, or sad in turn. She makes the reader check his or her assumptions on humanity, on sexuality, on race, and on reality. In short, she writes what speculative fiction should be at its best.
Some of my favorites: The collection starts off with a bang with The Easthound, a story of a group of children just trying to survive in a world where growing up means becoming a monster. Message in a Bottle explores what exactly is art. The Smile on the Face is the story of the power of mythology and the power of womanhood. Left Foot, Right is about loss, redemption, and survival. Old Habits takes a peek at the lives of ghosts. A Raggy Dog, a Shaggy Dog is about how hard it is to find love... and orchids. Flying Lessons broke my heart once I understood it. Blushing is the familiar tale of Bluebeard... or is it?
A fantastic collection that any speculative fiction fan should read. ...more
I had intended to ration Eugie Foster's stories to make them last longer. Instead, I found myself bingeing on them this weekend, finishing two collectI had intended to ration Eugie Foster's stories to make them last longer. Instead, I found myself bingeing on them this weekend, finishing two collections and her Nebula Award-winning novella. On one hand, I have no regrets; the stories were amazing. On the other hand, this means my ability to read all of Eugie's stories for the first time is that much closer to its end.
This series of short stories are all influenced by, based on, or retellings of Chinese or Japanese folktales, mythologies, and history. I much prefer novels to short stories, and it is the odd short story that I end up enjoying. Most short story collections or anthologies contain a handful of pieces I enjoy, with the majority feeling a bit ho-hum. It is the rare collection where I enjoy almost every story. It is nearly unheard of where I loved each one.
So it is very high praise that I give this collection five stars, because each story was a lovely, nuanced gem. These are stories which reminded me of the tales I read when I was a child, comforting in their familiarity, but with an added edge of darkness and sensuality that held adult-me enthralled. Without really meaning to, I sped through each story because I wanted more. And when I finished, I fell into a post-book depression that only hits after finishing a really good book....more
Yes, my book club of all adults picked this for our monthly read. We are that awesome.
Super quick read. I think I finished this in an hour. I rememberYes, my book club of all adults picked this for our monthly read. We are that awesome.
Super quick read. I think I finished this in an hour. I remember these stories scaring the pants off of me as a kid. As an adult, they are pretty lame.
But the nostalgia! All the nostalgia!
I didn't have many strong memories of this particular collection. My other book clubbers also had similar reactions. Oddly enough, we definitely remembered stories from the later volumes more clearly. ...more