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Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth
I love to watch them sob, their dreams in tatters
I'm so in love with Shimmer right now - the Spring issue was particularly good, but I've found it generally publishes stories with the kind of style and sensibilities that I like.

Also very impressive is the Del Rey Book of SF & Fantasy - despite the very workmanlike title, this is one of the anthologies for the year for me, and I keep dipping back into it for a story or two because it's just too much goodness to read all at once.

Why yes, I have kicked into gear with my reading. Expect many more posts from me as I catch up!


Angela Slatter, "Dresses, Three," Shimmer the Art Issue - dressmaking, peacocks and witches. How could I not love this one? With Slatter's story it's all about the details, and I enjoy them all. The piece of art paired with it is beautiful too.

Tinatsu Wallace, "Chimera and Qi" Shimmer Spring- on the surface, a woman returns to her mother's house because she thinks her marriage is over. But there is a darker story under the surface, a story of claws and blood... this one was a lovely juxtaposition of the painfully real and the surreal.

Angela Slatter, "The Hummingbird Heart," Shimmer, Spring - another of Slatter's charming and sinister original fairytales.

M.K. Hobson, "The Hand of the Devil on a String," Shimmer, Spring - wow this story just floored me. There's nothing to be sympathetic about with any of the characters, and yet they held me. It's a simple story style - one character relates a tale to another - and yet it fires on all cylinders from beginning to end. I was left uneasy and disturbed and deeply impressed.

Lucy Sussex, "Ardent Clouds," Del Rey Book of SF/Fantasy - I always enjoy reading Sussex's work - she remains one of my favourite short story writers for the way she immerses you in the lives and obsessions of her protagonists. This one follows a volcano-chaser, and is rich with detail and humanity.

Nathan Ballingrud, "North American Lake Monsters," Del Rey Book of SF/Fantasy - a dark, rather grisly tale of an ex-convict dealing with the awkward transition back into family life, with the mouldering corpse of a monster nearby. Vivid and powerful, leaving an icky feeling in my stomach.

Maureen McHugh, "Special Economics," Del Rey Book of SF/Fantasy - two Chinese factory girls struggle to pay off their debt to the company i this near future story of corporate espionage - the characters are funny and likeable and the story is beautifully crafted.

Marissa K. Lingren, "Swimming Back From Hell by Moonlight," Aeon #13 - a story of melancholy, hope, mythology and lost love. Some nice meta-commentary on how you deal with the gods when you know (from books & illustrations) what you are dealing with ahead of time.

Stephen Dedman, "Adaption," Aurealis #40 - a twisty piece of horror. I loved that this was a meta-response to the book "Faeries" by Brian Froud which I know backwards and forward. Every reference made me squee. I'd be interested to hear if people not familiar with the story liked it as much.

Margo Lanagan, "The Goosle," Del Rey Book of SF/F - a disturbing story of abuse and murder, tangled in a version of the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. I liked unravelling this one, which I read in the wake of all the controversy (charmingly named Gooslegate by Margo's significant other). Grotesquerie and gore kind of has to be high art for me to appreciate it, and this story is clever and nicely crafted enough to be that for me. I think it's one worth further critical examination - there are few stories that I really think I could have a whole conversation about, and this is one of them.
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From: ex_benpayne119 Date: 13th September 2008 08:29 (UTC) (Link)
We must be on the same wavelength thus year because I also loved the Wallace, the Ballingrud, the McHugh, the Lingen and the Dedman.

And yes, the Dedman story worked for me without reading the original...
cassiphone From: cassiphone Date: 13th September 2008 08:47 (UTC) (Link)

Having said that, it's one of the best art/mythology books EVER and if you are writing any fantasy or stuff with mythological overtones at any point in your life, get hold of a copy stat!
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