St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid by C.L. Polk (Tor.com, June 5, 2020)
The first short story I read in June was St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid by C.L. Polk. This was an immersive story. It felt like a coming of age tale, and it was excellent. Polk’s writing is deft, and the story flows so well that I felt like it was over too soon. The voice of the narrator is vivid, and the world built here was detailed and full of bees and magic—both helpful and dangerous—that felt organic to the environment. St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid is the kind of story that leaves a lasting impression, and it’s world was one I want to read about again. I already have a copy of Polk’s novella, and I want to read it soon.
Two Truths and A Lie by Sara Pinsker (Tor.com, June 17, 2020)
The second story I read was Two Truths and A Lie by Sara Pinsker. The story followed Stella, who was home visiting her parents. While there, she ended up helping an old friend clean out a relative’s house after their death. Immediately, I enjoyed Stella’s perspective, as she tried to figure out what was going on—with her memories and what that had to do with an old, unsettling TV show from her childhood. From start to finish, this story was an engrossing and chilling read with an atmospheric tone that captured the creepy/horror aspects of some of the darker fairy tales. It did it in a subtle way that gradually built up the tension as the story progressed, and I never knew what was going to happen next. What made this one so memorable was the feeling it invoked: how it rapidly went from feeling very “every day” and somber, to mysterious, and then to eerie. The twists were fantastic and unexpected, even to the very end of the story. Overall, I really enjoyed this one.
From Around the Web
- Not Until We Get A Turn: Retellings, Tropes, And Who Gets To Tell Stories (Kalynn Bayron; Tor.com; June 8, 2020)
- Raise Your Voice: Bethany C. Morrow’s A Song Below Water (Alex Brown; Tor.com, June 8, 2020)
- Nature, Horror, and the Inherent Darkness of the Human Condition (Alexis Henderson; Tor.com, June 4, 2020)
- Print Run Podcast episode 132
- The Role Publishing Plays in the Commodification of Black Pain (L.L. McKinney; Tor.com, June 17, 2020)
- Our Opinions Are Correct Podcast episode 60: Why Stories Need Good Dialogue