Monster Portraits (2018) by Del and Sofia Samatar

“How deformed can something get and still be a story?”

Oh, Sofia, you have my heart when you say things like that.

Many, many apologies to Rose Metal Press who kindly sent me this little ditty earlier this year in exchange for a honest review (…although if it were a dishonest review, who would know? Let’s be real, here.)

This is the third book I’ve received and reviewed from a publisher, if anybody’s keeping tabs.

I’m posting it here, at the ol’ From couch to moon site because this is the one that existed when Rose Metal Press contacted me, and it is more thematically relevant to shelve this review here, plus this site has the most traffic (‘most traffic’ being extremely relative), which RMP might appreciate. It’s not like I’m reviving my former FC2M frequency, so you will have to come over to moondanity if you want to see more of me… which, in all honesty, isn’t THAT much more.

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My Thoughts on the 2014 Hugo Noms: Short Stories

Voting closed on Thursday for the 2014 Hugo Awards and 1939 Retro Hugo Awards. I managed to read for some of the categories, and here are my thoughts.

2014 BEST SHORT STORY

My ranking order (favorite at the top):

John Chu’s story about the kinds of lies we feel compelled to tell is intriguing and cool– one of the few shorts I’ve read that deserves an expanded attempt. I hope he revisits this universe again, perhaps with new characters and new lies. The rest of the stories are nice, but fell below my expectations based on the public hype, and it probably didn’t help that I read Chu’s story first. Samatar’s story is cute, addressing the bitter feelings of abandoned children of selkies, and Swirsky’s love letter, styled off of the children’s classic, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, is a sweet, yet stirring, way to address an ugly topic. Heuvelt’s story is a humorous behind-the-scenes take of a classic Thai fable.

If you like cutesy SF pieces, read this entire category. If you click on the John Chu piece, don’t read the Tor.com blurb at the beginning! It’ll kill the effect!