Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Recent readings that I enjoyed!

Grass Roof, Tin Roof by Dao Strom. This book was hard-hitting for me, emotionally. Immigration, war, family - all difficult, sticky topics and the author pulled them off fantastically. It's so alive and intimate, the prose like music.
The police officers had had to track me down through a web of excuses my friends and I had set up in order to go out dancing; in smugly reprimanding tones, they told me this. The drive to the hospital took forty-five minutes. I arrived still wearing my cat's-eye makeup - exaggerated rings of black eyeliner - and black lipstick, and my black clothes felt garish under the glare of the fluorescent lights. I thought: onlookers will say the teenage daughter knew all along, was waiting every day for the mother's end to come, was celebrating death, even. Just look at her!

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. This isn't SFF but I'd say it is decidedly speculative!
Otherwise I'm still trying to catch up on short fiction - so not all of these were published in 2013 and eligible for awards, but their writers have published in 2013 and definitely eligible for short story categories, the Campbell, or both.

E. Catherine Tobler's 'You Were She Who Abode'  (Clarkesworld, 2012) reminds me a little of Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame Apocrypha, being about a woman soldier, war, and PTSD. No bugs, though!

A.C. Wise's 'Her Last Breath Before Waking Up' (Three-Lobed Burning Eye, 2013) is striking magic-realism! It's about an architect, a doomed love affair, and forgetting. This is eligible for awards in the short story category.

Veronica Schanoes' 'Burning Girls' (, 2013) is hard to categorize but if I'd encountered it outside I would've said it was from a literary lineage - though it can still be that, naturally! Immigration and family and demons.

I became familiar with Sofia Samatar through sharing a TOC with her, and her 'Honey Bear' (Clarkesworld, 2012) really stuck with me - the way it is about motherhood, about saying yes, about persevering in a post-apocalyptic world. She's got many eligible stories in 2013, the novel A Stranger in Olondria, and is in her second year of Campbell eligibility.

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