For all the recurring iconic images that populate Drowned Worlds, each story manages to become its own human-scale drama, evoking at its best not only a profound sense of loss, but a sort of cultural and global PTSD that may be getting pretty close to inevitable.
Archive for September, 2016
With his debut volume, Children of the New World, Alexander Weinstein is the latest creator to venture down such a path, and a fine job he does. Coming from outside the genre precincts, he nonetheless exhibits an intimate familiarity and dexterity with all of SF’s toolkit, as well as the ability to insert some subtle homages to past landmarks of SF.
A powerful debut novel, Jennifer Mason-Black’s Devil and the Bluebird begins with a teenager’s memories of what had been her mother’s guitar, as she stands at a dirt crossroad on a chilly, moonless night with the instrument strapped to her back, hoping to make a deal with something like a devil.
Now here comes the ever-inventive Kij Johnson with The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, which among other things addresses the almost complete absence of women in HPL’s tales and in particular The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, whose plot it inverts in ingenious ways…
This book needs to be slotted onto your shelves amongst all the other seminal anthologies that seek to limn the greatness of our field. Its judiciously and intelligently selected table of contents both entertains and instructs. Rusch has done important, masterful work here, and redressed a huge esthetic and moral imbalance.
Mary Robinette Kowal had her own ways of finding gritty truths in the course of her five “Glamourist Histories”… When she turns to a mixture of spycraft and spiritualism in Ghost Talkers, this apparent standalone is even more brutally direct about the horrific death tolls of Britain’s Great War (World War One), showing its ghosts as they see themselves in their last moments.
These thoughts are occasioned by China Miéville’s new novella The Last Days of New Paris, which makes brilliant use of both the political and imagistic aspects of Surrealism he even has creatures from Surrealist paintings and collages stomping around the Paris of 1950…