And while I (quote) ‘did not die with love’ for Tender Morsels, I totally died for Black Juice. Short stories! I never know how to think about you! You are always too much or not nearly enough and collections of you are so Russian Roulette! But here, HERE is the first SS collection I have found where I ranged between loving the story and loving the story a lot.
Be ye warned: It is DARK and WEIRD and SAD AS HELL. The first story, ‘Singing My Sister Down’ (even the title is sad) punched me right in the weepies, and I had to have a little cry in the back of the bus. But it is also TRIUMPHANT and VICTORIOUS and full of metaphorical fist-pumps.
Have I mentioned they are ripping good reads? Some of these are like the best chapter of the book, where the lord finally catches up to his fled gypsy wife, or when the yowlinins attack, so that it’s all the payoff of reading a novel and a fraction of the work. Others, like ‘The House of the Many,’ are whole little novellas unto themselves.
And I love them because they’re all a little bit alien and a little bit fantastic (in both the ‘fantasy-like’ and in the ‘thumbs-up’ sense). In this one, criminals have to stand in the tar until they sink and die which is fine when it’s criminals but hard when it’s your sister, and in this one, everyone wears white and no jewelry and there is a sort of overlord/bard (overbard?) and in this one we are all elephants. And they are SHORT STORIES so you should be spending entirely too much time trying to get your bearings but this is the apex of deftitude, because you will know enough to go on, and there is nary an info-dump in sight. All the info has been ground up and slipped into your soup and my years of watching decent authors mess this up has convinced me it is no small thing.
My expectations for the rest of the color/noun collections (White Time, Red Spikes, and she is either working on one called Yellowcake or I dreamed that) are now exeedingly high.
Nine caterpillars, this.