Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Short Stories I Read in August...

Today is the 29th of September, so it’s time to talk about the short stories, podcast episodes, and other miscellaneous posts I read or listened to in August.

Last Orders In The Green Lane by Stephen O’Donnell (Strange Horizons; Issue: 6, July 2020)

The first short story I tackled in August was Last Orders In The Green Lane. From the first line to the last, I was drawn into the story. It was short and straight to the point. I would say that it was a little melancholic, with a note of reminiscing and hopeful determination at some points. It was a little like starting a story in the middle of the climatic point of the plot. It was the calm before the storm, the preparation before the battle, and that’s where it ended. Still, I liked this one.

The Ruby Of The Summer King by Mari Ness (Uncanny Magazine; Issue Thirty-Five, July/August 2020)

The second short story I read was The Ruby of the Summer King. I loved this story. It reminded me of a lot of the fairy/fey lore heavy books I’ve read in the past, particularly Holly Black’s work. Though it was never explicitly stated that the characters were any kind of fey, the tone and elements in the story had a strong resemblance to it. Mari Ness’s writing was absolutely lovely, and I enjoyed how the story used the seasons and months as characters in their own right. I also enjoyed how the themes as well as a love story—that was unfortunately doomed—was explored.

The Inaccessibility of Heaven by Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny Magazine; Issue Thirty-Five, July/August)

You can’t go wrong with an Aliette de Bodard story, and The Inaccessibility of Heaven was fantastic. It was a hardboiled detective noir story, set in a world with witches and fallen angels. It reminded me of The House of Shattered Wings, which is still one of my favorite stories by this author. Bodard’s take on fallen angels has always been one of my favorites, so I enjoyed finding many similarities to that series in this story. The Inaccessibility of Heaven was full of surprising twists, and it was made even better by the complicated relationships and history between the characters. The “Fallen” were quite complex as characters, and there was a question of holding one’s self accountable for past actions (it was a theme that came up throughout in much of the story). It was, however, kind of dark, but with the type of story it was—murder mystery—that’s to be expected. So if you’ve enjoyed any of Aliette de Bodard’s work in the past, then this is a story that should be on your radar.

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