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Superheroes Reborn

This is an anthology of five superhero origin stories. The five stories are all really different from each other, but they are all also really good and well-written. I really enjoyed the various takes on the superhero origin story theme. I have a soft spot for quirky superhero stories, but I think anyone who enjoys light-hearted speculative fiction would enjoy this collection. It is just a lot of fun.

Author/Editor: 

The Book Smugglers

Distances

Distances book cover (a representation of the space described by a mathematical function)

This novella has a really original and fascinating premise, in which mathematics can be explored in a quasi-physical state. The universe it builds is one I'd love to revisit, but this story stands on its own and feels complete. The theme about leaving home and whether you can ever really return is explored in a thought-provoking but not heavy-handed way. But the real strength of this novella is the writing, which pulls you along through the story and the necessary world-building detours so expertly that it feels like a leisurely read, and yet I couldn't put it down.

Author: 

Vandana Singh

Dream Machine

Dream Machine book cover

This interesting short story is about a worker in a factory in China, who doesn't know what the factory is making and doesn't really care, until things start getting weird. It is an enjoyable and quick read. I would have liked a little more from the ending, but even so, the story planted some things to think about. This is a good pick for you if you like magical realism and are looking for a diverting short story.

Author: 

Su-Yee Lin

Hemmed In

This is my fourth "taster flight" of classic short stories, and it may be my favorite. This anthology has six classic short stories about women's lives. They are classics (and in the public domain), so all are old, but they resonate with my modern experience of being a woman surprisingly well. I defy any woman who has ever worked in a male-dominated field to read the first story in this book (A Jury of Her Peers, by Susan Glaspell) and not nod her head in recognition at times.

Author/Editor: 

M.R. Nelson

June Giveaway: Missed Chances

I have a new Taster Flight coming out on June 7: Hemmed In is an anthology of classic short stories about women's lives. I think it is my favorite taster flight yet, and to celebrate its release, I decided to giveaway TWO copies of the very first Taster Flight I did, Missed Chances.

Steps

Book cover for Steps: text with some small graphic elements

This is an interesting short story about a past-her-prime actress who is contacted by the family of her former stepfather. He is dying, and wants to see her. The story follows her response, and the emotions and memories it stirs up. It is a really well-written story. When I finished it, I first wished it would have resolved a few more things, but as it "settled" in my mind, I think that perhaps leaving those things unresolved was central to what it says about family and what we can expect from them.

Author: 

Mona Simpson

Two Eyes Are Never Enough

Two Eyes Are Never Enough book cover. A young woman sitting in a bare room, with her hands over her face.

This is a combination of reporting and personal memoir about the direct care industry. The author worked in the industry for several years, and saw both its limitations and its promise first hand. In this book, she describes her experiences as well as the experiences of a woman injured working in a care home, and then reports on the facts about the industry. I wish she had gone a bit deeper in her reporting, perhaps interviewing former residents of these homes and executives in the companies that run them.

Author: 

Sonya Huber

Book Introduction: She Receives the Night

I have another book introduction for you this week! This week's guest post is from Robert Earle, introducing us to his short story collection, She Receives the Night.

She Receives the Night

by Robert Earle

Cover for She Receives the Night. A stylized picture of a woman's face. 

An Alphabet of Embers

This is a difficult anthology to describe. The best I can do is to say it is an anthology of very short speculative fiction stories, all of which explore what language (and speculative fiction) can be made to convey. I enjoyed some stories more than others, but all of the stories were interesting. Because the stories are very short, it made perfect "dip in when I have a few minutes" reading, and these stories brightened many lunchtimes for me! This anthology may not be for everyone, but if you're the sort that like stories that bend your brain a bit, you'll probably really like it.

Author/Editor: 

Rose Lemberg

Book Introduction: Cold Sweat and Thin Ice

Today, I have a book introduction guest post that doesn't just introduce a book: it introduces a series, and the first two books in that series.  J.S. Marlo is here to tell us about her books Cold Sweat and Thin Ice, and the Heart & Endurance series they start.

Cold Sweat and Thin Ice

by J.S. Marlo

Book covers for Cold Sweat and Thin Ice

 

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