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Velocities
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2020 Book Discussion Archive > "Velocities" Discuss Everything *Spoilers*

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message 1: by Dan (last edited May 25, 2020 09:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 922 comments This topic is created for detailed discussion of the stories and should be read only upon having completed the story in question, at a minimum, or to be perfectly safe, all of them. That's because spoilers are allowed in this topic. If you haven't read the stories yet and choose to read here first, you need to not mind reading spoilers. Please consider yourself duly warned.


message 2: by Dan (last edited Jun 05, 2020 09:12PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 922 comments I just read the first story of the collection, "Eventide," for the third time and I still don't completely get it, but give it four stars nevertheless. I like the two main characters and love premise of the central conflict (note: serious spoiler now comes; don't read it unless you have already read the story) (view spoiler)

Does anyone else have a handle on the ending of this story that is willing to help me out by relieving my confusion?


message 3: by Dan (last edited Jun 18, 2020 08:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 922 comments The second story "Baby" refers to a doll this girl finds in her Holocaust survivor grandmother's attic. (I give it a solid four stars too.) The doll is more than a doll; it takes action. Because we have these terrible events being conveyed in the voice of a child talking to her doll, it somehow ups the horror.

There's a long Weird (and horror) tradition of dolls (or other normally inanimate totems) exacting revenge for protagonists. It crosses over from just horror into Weird when the story is about more than just a slasher mannequin. There needs to be some ambiguities and surprises for it to become Weird.

Tanith Lee's "The Unrequited Glove" is my favorite Weird example of this sub-genre. (Who else than Tanith Lee would think to use a glove as a totem?) This Koja take on the sub-genre was good too, except I feel sorry for the girl protagonist and leave the story sad things don't work out better for her.


message 4: by Dan (last edited Jun 23, 2020 10:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 922 comments The third story in this collection is the title piece, "Velocities." I had high hopes for it, but even after a second reading I still feel let down. There are things I like about the story: 1) the question and answer format of interviewer and interviewee, it's different and works well here; and 2) that there are three distinct voices and perspectives to the story--the narrator's, Q's, and A's. Nevertheless, I still can't really piece together what the whole story is about. Daddy treated A terribly, and A having an artist's temperament didn't react well. But that's about it. The details on the house, how many rooms it has, which are bigger, and the color of the paint on the walls, who the servants are, etc. all add up to nada for me.

Three stars. My fifth Koja story and the first to fail to win four stars from me.


message 5: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan | 922 comments "Clubs" and "Urb Civ" are two stream-of-consciousness stories that do nothing for me. I wouldn't enjoy listening to the speakers in real life and I didn't enjoy it any more for reading it. Two stars. Both of these stories were written in the last year or two. If this is indicative of a direction Koja wants to take her writing in, I'm not wanting to join the ride.

"Fireflies" was a poignant piece about a woman who was terminal, but too short for full effect. Nothing all that scary or much in the way of story. Three stars.


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