Rachel Swirsky’s first book is out! Through the Drowsy Dark was published by Aqueduct Press in May, and, well, I’ll let the catalog listing do the talking.
Through the Drowsy Dark collects ten stories and nine poems by Nebula- and Hugo-nominee Rachel Swirsky, "a terrific writer who's been making a name for herself with a string of intelligent, perceptive stories," as critic Jonathan Strahan characterizes her. In Through the Drowsy Dark, Swirsky's characters struggle with too much and too little emotional control, with heartbreak, with grief that has gone deep underground; they search for nothingness, for difference, for oneness. One commits a terrible crime because she believes it's the moral thing to do, while another digs up a dead dog because the very thought of kissing it on the lips makes her clitoris throb. Swirsky's explorations of the heart and mind are fearless—and dangerous fictions indeed.
"Those Who Wait Through the Drowsy Dark" -- original to this collection
"Heartstrung" -- Interzone 210 (2007)
"Mirror Images" -- Fantasy Magazine (May 12, 2008)
"Of Passage" -- Flushed (Bannock Street Books, 2009)
"Heat Engine" -- Last Drink Bird Head (Ministry of Whimsy, 2009)
"The Black Angel's Kiss" -- original to this collection
"Detours on the Way to Nothing" -- Weird Tales 349 (2008)
"Defiled Imagination" -- original to this collection
"The Debt of the Innocent" -- Glorifying Terrorism (Rackstraw Press, 2007)
"No Longer You" (with Katherine Sparrow) -- Interzone 229 (2009)
"A Season with the Geese" -- Abyss&Apex (2007)
"Pomegranate" -- original to this collection
"Remembering the World" -- Electric Velocipede #15-16 (2008)
"Insider Her Heart" -- Ideomancer (2007)
"The Dream Vacation" -- Mothering Magazine (2006)
"The Oracle on River Street" -- Goblin Fruit (2007)
"Dear Melody" -- Sybil's Garage #4 (2007)
"Invitation to Emerald" -- Lone Star Stories (2007)
"The Fate of Hitler's Brain" -- Flashquake (2006)
While I’ve read a fair amount of Swirsky’s earliest stories, I do not believe I have read any of the stories collected here. That’s exciting, because Rachel Swirsky is one of the best young writers working today and she remains one of the names to keep an eye on in the coming years. She is only just now beginning to get the wider recognition her fiction deserves and it’s time to check out her work if you haven’t already.
I suppose you could also check out this page on Swirsky’s website to see what stories of hers are currently available online if you’re inclined to sample before you buy. "A Memory of Wind" was nominated for the Nebula and "Eros, Philia, Agape" is nominated for the Hugo (a story which I felt strongly enough about to put on my own nomination ballot).
I expect to pick up a copy of Through the Drowsy Dark sooner rather than later.