Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Somewhere Beneath Those Waves” as Want to Read:
Somewhere Beneath Those Waves
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Somewhere Beneath Those Waves

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  483 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Monette's diverse collection delves deeply into the mythic and reaches far beyond everyday reality. Readers cannot resist journeying with her into realms-dangerously dark or illuminatingly revelatory-they could never imagine without her as their guide. From ghost stories in the tradition of M. R. James to darkly poetic tales to moving fictional examinations of the most bas ...more
Paperback, 331 pages
Published November 16th 2011 by Prime Books (first published November 13th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Somewhere Beneath Those Waves

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I ordered this because I thought there were further Kyle Murchison Booth stories included. In fact, there is only one, "The World Without Sleep." I see why that wasn't published in The Bone Key, as it is far more fantastical than the other Booth stories.

I was a little disappointed that there weren't more stories with Booth, but other than that I enjoyed the volume and thought most of the stories were good. I few, if one wished to quibble, seemed more thought pieces than stories, and a few were m
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the things I am noticing about reviews for this book is that everyone is coming away with a different experience. For some, these are stories of horrors, nightmares and supernatural dreamscapes. Though I can see those elements present in many of the stories, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is, for me, a collection of love stories.

They are not always straightforward, and they do not always have happy endings. There is darkness, there is tragedy, but above all there are glimmers of hope…often
Kate O'Hanlon
I didn't really start reading short stories until about a year and a half ago and Sarah Monette is one of the writers who prompted me to take the genre seriously.

There is so much to love in this collection. Monette has such a strange and wonderful imagination and is as skilled in crafting slow, poignant characters studies about grief like 'Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans' Day' and 'Absent from Felicity' as she is telling more action packed, plotty, stories like 'A Night in Electric Squidlan
A frustrating collection of sf/f, with a few non-fantastic stories as well. Some are too heavy-handed, many are too short to do their ideas justice, and all too often Monette leans on technique instead of letting her (quite interesting!) worlds and characters speak for themselves. Still, there are enough ideas in here to fuel dozens of novels, so it's worth reading.

Draco Campestris--A taxonomist categorizes the dragon species contained in a universe-spanning museum, all the while hearing rumors
Althea Ann
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a fan of Sarah Monette. At this point, I’ve read all her books save one – which I’ve got on the way to me right now. Her aesthetic resonates with me strongly.

‘Draco Campestris’ – A mood piece describing a museum which displays the bones of dragons. Full of lovely and disturbing details.

‘Queen of Swords’ - A king’s new bride is haunted by the ghosts of his previous wives.

‘Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans Day’ – A story about mourning a brother who was lost in Vietnam, and how that death
April Steenburgh
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"On the landing, the roses of the Queen of Elfland, as clamorous as trumpets, continued to shout their glory to the uncomprehending house." ('Sarah Monette, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, pg 185)

Like the Queen of Elfland's roses, the stories contained in 'Somewhere Beneath Those Waves' will sing out their glory long after the reader had turned the final page. Contained within are captive figureheads and selkies, dragons and dreams and all the hopes and nightmares caught in between. The stories w
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I picked up this lovely book by Sarah Monette because I've read her Doctrine of Labyrinth series as well as A Companion to Wolves (with Elizabeth Bear.) She has a very lyrical style without getting too bogged down in the description. And she loves to write about queer characters. Her characters also tend to have an Otherness to them that I can identify with.

This collection grows in strength as it continues. One of the things that I disliked about the stories is that Monette's heroes and heroine
Ruediger Landmann
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ruediger by: Laura Bailey
Shelves: read-2012
This is an eclectic and intriguing collection of short stories, almost all of them speculative fiction of one kind or another. Like most anthologies, I found it to be a mixed bag in terms of what appealed to me, but I'll call out a few stories here that I particularly enjoyed:

"Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland" and "Katabasis: Seraphic Trains", although wildly different stories both carried incredible emotional punch. The former is, in my opinion, Faerie done right: wild and seductive. The
Maybe Kij Johnson's At the Mouth of the River of Bees has ruined subsequent short story collections for me; maybe I didn't love Monette's writing. In either case I think a lot of readers would love this. Horror, fantasy, poetry, gay characters, trans characters, strong characters, dragons, ghosts, angels, mermaids, soldiers, nightmares and nothing felt repetitive. If this sounds like your cup of tea, give this a try asap.
I am not an existing fan of this authors but I saw the beautiful cover and I'm always happy to read a collection of short stories, especially as an introduction to a new author.

This collection was a mixed bag for me. Some of the stories were boring and if I had rated them on their own I would have rated them 2 star but some of the stories were so good I wished they had a collection of their own and I could read more about the characters and worlds.
It was an enjoyable read, though I am not sure i
Katie M.
I like Sarah Monette, and she's a totally competent author, but something about these stories just seemed a little - I don't know, conventional? - for a writer who is described in the introduction as "a poet of the awkward and the uncertain, exalter of the outcast, the outre, and the downright weird." Really? In a world where Rikki Ducornet exists, I'm not sure how most of these stories could pass as anything more than tame. But none of them were bad, and a few of them were even quite good. It w ...more
Jennifer Hernandez
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
I couldn't finish this book. I tried, I really did. I don't think it has anything to do with her writing, I think I was just expecting something else. I didn't like how some of the more interesting stories ended quickly with hardly any explanation and others that weren't my cup of tea were more drawn out.
Really really enjoyed this collection of short stories, and I think I will read more by Monette in the future.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most of S. Monette's stories are always about what happends in the aftermath (if i remember correctly, she even mentioned it in this book). I love Monette's style of fantasy--not my favourite kind of style, but it's sufficiently entertaining and mystical--and the way she writes these "aftermath" stories (inspired by her friend's hand-made bracelets) which gives that surreal feeling. That's what I love about her writing, it's like i'm viewing it from a dream. As if I'm distinctly floating above, ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I bought this book because I loved (loved loved) The Goblin Emperor, and I like short stories. I found it to be a very diverse, uneven but engaging collection, with some truly wonderful stories more than making up for the ones I didn't like. I also enjoyed the author's notes on each story in the back.


"A Light in Troy" - A brief story of hope and human communion after losing everything, beautifully written. I loved this.

"Katabasis: Seraphic Trains" - A story about poets, and beyond that

L’antologia Somewhere Beneath Those Waves raccoglie venticinque racconti, non inediti, di Sarah Monette.

Alcune storie sono brevissime, solo un paio di pagine, altre sono invece sviluppate più ampliamente, ma tutte sono accomunate da una buona qualità narrativa, una prosa poetica, onirica e vivida, tematiche che prediligono tinte fosche, a volte perché inquietanti altre in quanto quasi orrorifiche.
Questa sorta di “senso di orrore”, tuttavia, nasce da una rarefatta sensazione di timore per qu
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
This little collection illustrates everything I love about Sarah Monette. She has the rare gift of being able to write horrifying, poignant, and haunting stories that don't feel gaudy or trite. Although none of her tales feature the gratuitous gore that tends to come with horror stories, the flashes of brutality she intersperses with lyrical storytelling are all the more compelling because of their rarity.

In contrast to the reviewer below who doesn't like the choices made by some of the 'heroes
I cried while reading “Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veteran’s Day” while answering phones during the public radio fund drive, with Alan Chartock less than 10 feet away, begging people to call and with phones ringing. There are twenty five short stories, novellas, some very short stories, prose poems and poems in this very, very good collection. One, “The World Without Sleep” has Kyle Murchison Boothe from the author’s The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth. “A Night in El ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Sarah Monette's lyric prose, and her characterizations are diverse and wonderful. Definitely didn't expect these to be as creepy as they were, but man, "The Watcher in the Corners" got me. (It didn't help that RIGHT after I finished reading that story, I noticed that when I pull the nightlight out of the socket in my bathroom I've been scratching the wall, and I SWEAR THE SCRATCHES SPELL "MOVE" HOW CREEPY IS THAT SHIT.) Also, while Sidhe stories aren't my favorite, these weren't horrible, ...more
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've got to obtain a copy of this. Some of the stories I loved more than others, but there wasn't a bad one in the lot and that's damned rare for me with story collections.

Assume spoiler in my comments of the individual stories.

Draco campestris
Queen of Swords
Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans' Day
Under the Beansidhe's Pillow (click to read)
The Watcher in the Corners
The Half-Sister
Ashes, Ashes
Sidhe Tigers
A Light in Troy (selected for Best New Romantic Fantasy 2006)
Amante Dorée
Somewhere Beneath
Orrin Grey
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm a big, big fan of Sarah Monette, especially her ghost stories. The Bone Key is one of my all-time favorite books. But Monette isn't principally a ghost story writer. She's done a number of fantasy novels, and a host of sci-fi and fantasy short stories. Of those, I've not yet read the novels, but the short stories are mostly collected here, including one rather unusual Kyle Murchison Booth story. I'd read probably a little over half of these before, but it's nice to have them all collected to ...more
Aug 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I went on a spree of requesting a bunch of this author's books from the library because I decided that The Goblin Emperor is my favorite book, but my overall conclusion is that the choice to write under a different name was a good one, because the work does feel different. Anyway, these short stories are fun to read because it's pushing past the usual heteronormative setups, so that's cool, but I still like the fantasy (and linear) ones better than the more experimental or horror-based stories.
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was excited to find this book at the library because I really enjoyed her long fiction (such as The Mirador and Virtu), and fans of those books won't be disappointed. The stories in Somewhere Beneath those Waves have the same imaginative, alternative quality that made her novels so enjoyable, and the characters are absolutely fabulous. Where else are you going to find transgender courtesans, bisexual buddy cops, selkies, soldiers, and all of the other weird and wonderful individuals left out o ...more
Kate Gordon
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'll start out by admitting that I'm not always the biggest fan of short stories - but this collection tore the top right off of my head. These are evocative, beautifully written stories peopled with characters in whom I immediately became invested. My issue with short stories is that I want to become completely immersed in a world, and short stories are usually too, well, short for that. Not the case here; these are fully realized worlds, and each story left me feeling somehow simultaneously sa ...more
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A compilation of short stories, well thought out, and exquisitely written. Each story will draw you in and leave you feeling breathless. They are magical, thought provoking stories ranging on many varied topics. The darker stories, which I usually shy away from, always had a yearning for hope and goodness. There was always a glimmering light, to leady you out, again. The relieved, happy feeling you experience after you've just woken from a bad dream, that was my experience with many of these sto ...more
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one. I read it in bits and pieces at the bookstore so I haven't the memory or the book handy to give a detailed review but I liked it very much overall. The longer stories were much better than the short ones, there were a couple where I figured she must have had a word count limit because they would have been better expanded. I really liked the Jamie and Mick stories, I hope she writes a collection for them someday. 'Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland', 'Katabasis: Sera ...more
Andrew Neal
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
The author mentions that some of these stories are closer to novels, and others are closer to poetry. Me, I didn't go for the super-short leaning-toward poetry ones, but the longer short stories at the end of the book were fantastic. The two stories which featured two buddy-cop members of the BPI (kind of like the FBI, but paranormal, or a bit like the BPRD if you read Hellboy, but way less militant) were great, and there were two or three more I really liked as well. I'm going to try to read mo ...more
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There is a quote on the front of this book saying "Sarah Monette writes like a dream" and I have to say I agree. This collection of short stories is exactly what I want in a collection of short stories. Within a few sentences an entire world is established, a fantastic world that I want to know more about. There is magic, and strange creatures and creatures that seem normal at first, then you realize they are stranger than you can imagine. Absolutely wonderful.
My only complaint is that most of t
Claudia Piña
Hermosa, hermosa colección de escritos variados. Historias breves, novelettes y poesía de muchos temas diversos.

No conocía a la autora pero me encantó prácticamente todo en este libro. Está preciosamente escrito, las historias magníficamente desarrolladas a pesar de ser breves y los temas todos interesantes y emocionalmente intensos. Desde lo creepy a lo conmovedor, todo es bastante bueno, con solo un par de cosas problemáticas por aquí o por allá.

Fué un gran, gran descubrimiento para mi y me e
Though fairly inconsistent in terms of personal enjoyment, the book as a whole was a well-written, inventive, ultimately enjoyable read. And when the stories were good, man, were they ever good. I don't think this will be the last thing I read of Monette's.

Rankings of all the stories averaged out to 6/10, which sounds about right. Favourite was by far "The World Without Sleep", with "Katabasis: Seraphic Trains", "The Seance at Chisholm End", and "Imposters" trailing closely behind. My least favo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Empire of Ice Cream
  • The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People
  • We Never Talk about My Brother
  • In the Forest of Forgetting
  • The Chains That You Refuse
  • How the World Became Quiet: Myths of the Past, Present, and Future
  • Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing
  • Map of Dreams
  • Leviathan Wept and Other Stories
  • The Fate of Mice
  • Fast Ships, Black Sails
  • The Girl with No Hands (and Other Tales)
  • Errantry: Strange Stories
  • Unpossible and Other Stories
  • Wings of Fire
  • Returning My Sister's Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice
  • Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, Volume One
  • Meet Me in the Moon Room
My pseudonym is Katherine Addison. Katherine reviews nonfiction. Sarah reviews fiction. Fair warning: I read very little fiction these days.

I was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the secret cities of the Manhattan Project. I studied English and Classics in college, and have gone on to get my M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature. My first four novels were published by Ace Books. I h
More about Sarah Monette...
“It is said in those districts that not all the trains which run on the city’s tracks are listed in Metropolitan Transit’s compendious schedule. The residents will tell you that after midnight, on some nights, there will be other trains, trains whose cry is different, the bellow of some great beast fighting for its life. And if you watch those trains go past, behind those bright flickering windows you will see passengers unlike any passengers you have seen when riding the trains yourself: men with wings, women with horns, beast-headed children, fauns and dryads and green-skinned people more beautiful than words can describe. In 1893, a schoolteacher swore that she saw a unicorn; in 1934, a murderer turned himself into the police, weeping, saying that he saw his victims staring at him from a train as it howled past the station platform on which he stood.
These are the seraphic trains. The stories say they run to Heaven, Hell, and Faërie. They are omens, but no one can agree on what they portend. And although you will never meet anyone who has seen or experienced it, there are persistent rumors, unkillable rumors, that sometimes, maybe once a century, maybe twice, a seraphic train will stop in its baying progress and open its doors for a mortal.
Those who know the story of Thomas the Rhymer—and even some who don’t—insist that all these people, blest or damned as they may be, must be poets.”
“Beyond the window, snow fell like frozen drops of poison.” 1 likes
More quotes…