Sarah's Reviews > Portable Childhoods

Portable Childhoods by Ellen Klages
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's review
Feb 27, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: short-stories, sf, speculative-fiction, fantasy, queer
Read from February 19 to 27, 2010

In the title story, the narrator's child describes how Columbus thought he discovered America but "it's sort of like if some guy rang our doorbell this morning and said he'd discovered our house, so it belonged to him." So when I say I discovered Ellen Klages very recently, I do so with the knowledge that she was there already, and I'm just happy to have made acquaintance with her writing. She popped onto my radar this summer when I read her story "In the House of the Seven Libraries", a standout even in excellent company in the Firebirds Rising: An Original Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology. I remembered her name, and grabbed this collection when I saw it at a bookstore recently.

It's a wonderful collection, full of everything I love about short speculative fiction. She writes in an afterword that "science fiction is, I've read, a literature of setting. For some, that means other planets, other worlds, other dimensions. For me, it's the past, but a slightly alternate past, a reality that existed - at least in my imagination - just below the surface of everyday life." The stories here are a mixed bag of genre: some science fiction, some fantasy, some horror. They have in common a rich sense of character and place and history. The sense of history is really strong, and it makes the core of her stories at once very accessible. Lives happen. Small moments of wonder happen. I'm happy she took the time to let me see them.
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message 1: by Jude (new)

Jude nice review, SarahPi! i can handle short fiction, so i'm off to my liberry site to put a hold on it!

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