I don’t why but right now, the only things that I am really excited to read are short works so I decided to pick up some short stories that were nominated for the Nebulas and I started a collection of short stories written by Yoon Ha Lee called Conservation of Shadows.
I have to say that, from the nominees I read this week, nothing really stood out to me. Wong’s story is definitely good though, for me, it lacked the little something extra that really made When Your Child Starys From God by Sam Miller so good so, for now, Miller’s story is still my favorite nominee.
It was also the first time I read stories from Nightmare Magazine and Lightspeed Magazine and I am quite happy that I gave both of them a try because I want to “get a taste” of several magazines before subscribing to one in particular.
Anyway, enough babbling, let’s talk about the stories I read.
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong ★★★★
As I said previously, this is a Nebula award nominee, it is marketed as a horror story and I was afraid that it was going to be completely out of my confort zone, however even if it was dark and kind of gory, it was not scary at all. It was story about a soul eater trying to target mostly horrible people and basically what happens when she first tastes a murderer. I really enjoyed the writing style,the pacing and the ideas, what I call “the Big Three” in short fiction. However all the soul eating was pretty disgusting to read about especially because it ooked a lot like eating vomit, so yeah, I would not recommend reading it before a meal (like I did…) but otherwise it was a very good story.
Madeleine by Amar El-Mohtar ★★
Another Nebula nominee and my least favorite so far. I don’t have much to say about it and I already forgot what happened. If I remember correctly, it is about a woman who has crisis where she is transported back to old memories. It was a pretty meh story, the writing style was good but that’s all really.
Water of Versailles by Kelly Robson★★★
Also a Nebula nominee but in the novella category. It is hard to give a synopsis of this one really but it is mostly a story about an engeneer who runs the toilets of Versailles thanks to a fish. Yep.
It was a good story, a bit too long in my opinion but I like the elements of fantasy and the ending was really satisfying. However I did have issues with the main character because, I found him to be an abusive crétin (French for dumbass) and all that I wanted to do during the whole story was to give a hug to the little fish and slap the guy.
Robson has been receiving quite a lot of attention lately and since I really enjoyed her writing style, I am probably going to read other stuff by her soonish.
Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee
I have just started this collection of short stories, I mainly picked it up because on Goodreads I saw that Seth Dickinson had rated it 5*and also because I have heard an incredible amount of positive things on Yoon Ha Lee. I’ve only managed to read two so far and I have to say that I love her writing style but I tend to be very confused while reading her stories, I couln’t even give you brief synopsis of the stories because they would not make much sense.
I would rate the first one, Ghostweight a 3* stars because I was confused while reading it and I found the ending to be pretty abrupt. The second one, The Shadow Postulates, would probably be a 3.5* since it was very well paced and that it had some incredibly beautiful lines however, here again, I was pretty confused. I am afraid that this collection is a bit too smart to see but I want to give the other stories a try.
That’s all I managed to read this week, and as usual, on this segment, I am going to recommend the one story I read this week that I think that you should totally read too. This week, this is pretty obvious, you should totally read Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong! 😀
I hope that you had a great week of reading!