A rustling sound in the tall grasses–suddenly, a blogger emerges from the undergrowth, straggle-haired and tattered–“I have a new review!” she whispers, before disappearing back into the brush, not to emerge for months.
This has been a Jumanji-like retelling of my experience as a blogger. I like to read books, and I like to review them, but I also like to disappear into the gaps of the interwebs and lurk for months, or reread books I don’t want to review, or just lie in the June sun and forget that the internet is even a thing.
But I did write this review for Strange Horizons a few weeks ago, and forgot to post it! Kaleidoscope is a lovely anthology, that does lovely things, including teaching me how to spell ‘kaleidoscope.” Kallidoscope. Kaliedescope. Fuck.
Welcome to the first edition of the doubtless-irregular and potentially short-lived Short and Sweet, featuring unformed thoughts on speculative short fiction I’ve read and liked in the last week. I have two goals, here: First, to sort of participate in the digital curation of great short fiction. Second, to take note of useful “lessons” buried in these stories, for myself and folks like me, who aspire to write more, better, and more bravely. (more…)
My short story (novelette, for the technical-minded) is now up at Strange Horizons (Part 1, Part 2). Because I’m a compulsive over-sharer who can’t let art stand on its own spindly legs, there are a few things I want to say.
“The Animal Women” started as a bulleted timeline of 1968. It metamorphosed into a ramble-y story about a young girl in eastern Kentucky with a Polaroid camera and a speech impediment. At its most successful, it would be about the fractured cultural landscape of the 1960s, the changing nature of race politics, white backlash, women’s voices, and magical transformation.
I think it’s my favorite thing I’ve written. Not for any super objective reasons, but just because everything in it is…kind of very close to my heart.
Me and my Dad, sometime after the Berlin Wall fell but before NAFTA.
It’s about Kentucky. The place I grew up, the place I circle back to, the place I hold in my heart next to the word “home.” Sometimes, when the light’s just right and the cicadas are so loud your teeth rattle and everything smells like wet summer clay—I think it’s just a half step away from heaven. Sometimes, when you’ve driven by four Confederate flags and a dozen “Coal Keeps the Lights On” stickers on your way to class only to have a student tell you racism ended in 1965—I think my partner and I should just drive north until we hit Nunavut and live like polar bears.
Maybe everybody feels that way about their home. (more…)
In keeping with my recent reading habits, here are four more stories I’ve read in the last month or so that made my heart do that flip-flopping thing it does when a good story waltzes by. Maybe it’s a mood I’m in, but all these stories seem to be relatively unadorned, heartfelt, and life-affirming. And very, very worth your time.
This has been one of my recent favorites. It’s a winding, world-building story about a gypsy-carnival-caravan meandering up and down the future West Coast, and the young woman who cares for their Indricothere. Because they have one of those. Named Billie. (more…)