28 June 2005

A Few Quick Notes

Things are going to slow down here for a little bit, for mundane reasons of everyday life. Soon there will be a bunch of reviews by various guest reviewers, though, and I'll try to post at least a little bit each week myself.

And now some things to note: The best short story collection of the year has finally been released: Magic For Beginnersby Kelly Link (you can find out more at the Small Beer Press site for it). I've read most of the book now, though haven't yet had a chance to read the title novella. Many of the stories I read when they were first published, but I liked them even more on returning to them, and the new stories are equally wonderful. This is inventive, intelligent, elegant fiction from a writer who truly deserves that over-utilized adjective unique. There are only a handful of short story writers whose work I read with as much pleasure and excitement as Kelly's, and as impressed as I was with her previous collection, I think this one is vastly better.

You might not know that Kelly Link is, in addition to being a writer, a slush editor for SciFiction. But of course, the omniscient (and occasionally beneficent) Slush God knows this, and has just interviewed her about this aspect of her life.

Speaking of the Slush God, I've now received the latest issue (August) of the magazine at which he toils, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and it includes a new story by not only M. Rickert, but also Eugene Mirabelli, whose last story for the magazine, "The Only Known Jump Across Time", I wrote about in one of the earliest posts for this site. Of course, I haven't had time to read either story yet, but it always brightens my day to have a new story by M. Rickert arrive, and especially to have it arrive along with a new Eugene Mirabelli story. (You know folks, life could only get better than this if supreme executive power derived from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.)

In completely other, and entirely less important, news: I will be at ReaderCon (probably Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday), and would appreciate any interventions people offer to keep me from spending money in the dealers' room.


  1. Wow, you're in for a treat. "Magic for Beginners" is awesome. It might be my favorite Kelly Link story ever, certainly my favorite since "The Specialist's Hat", which was the story that turned me into a lifelong Link fan. "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" is one of the most disturbing horror stories I've ever read, and in such a totally unexpected way.

  2. We'll miss you, but in summer everything slows down, especially the human brain. Hope you're enjoying the stillness.

  3. Better than In the Palace of Repose? :-)


  4. Yup. Which is no slam of Holly -- I think ItPoR is a marvelous collection, particularly for a first collection. I've been chided for being premature in announcing Magic for Beginners as the best of the year, and, indeed, it is a bit premature, but in this particular case I'm pretty confident it will bear out.

    I guess I should note here that Small Beer (that is, Kelly and Gavin) have made her first collection, Stranger Things Happen available for free download here. I like that collection quite a bit, but I think the work in the new one, on the whole, is vastly more complex and mature. (Although I'm apparently the only person on Earth who thought "The Faery Handbag" was a nice story but hardly earthshaking, particularly in comparison to most of the others.)