Tuesday, November 11, 2008

two good stories

As I procrastinate on writing some actual review content, here are two good stories I read yesterday.

The first is "Kimberly Ann Duray Is Not Afraid", by Leah Bobet. The reviews / commentary I've read on this story have made mention about the racial tension regarding the white protagonist and her black husband - not necessarily between the two, but race matters in this story. Now, I guess I didn't read the reviews closely because I just assumed that a story with an interracial marriage and racial tension just had to be set back thirty - fifty years ago. It's not. Bobet's story depicts a future where race doesn't have to matter because, in a very controversial procedure, race can change. I thought it was a heck of a story, but I tend to like what I've seen from Bobet ("Bears", for example), so take that for what it is worth. I think this story shows some of Leah Bobet's range.

The second story I want to mention is "Apotropaics" from the perpetually excellent Norman Partridge. Yes, Dark Harvest left that much of an impact on me. "Apotropaics" purports to be a vampire story, at least on the surface. I think it is set in the 1950's and Jason has just returned from vacation with his parents and his friends rush up to him telling him about a vampire that he has to help them kill. Jason and his friends might all be eleven, by the way. It's one of those things that Partridge doesn't come right out and say. Now, the trick here is that I'm not sure this is a vampire story at all or that there are any vampires. But, Partridge also leaves that open to interpretation. Regardless of what the truth of "Apotropaics" is, it's a good story. First published back in 1992.

Oh, according to the dictionary apotropaic means "designed to avert evil", or in other defintions, "to ward off evil". Interesting.

One last thing. I haven't read this yet, but Subterranean also has a Cherie Priest story up which shares a setting with her forthcoming novel The Boneshaker: "Tanglefoot: A Story of the Clockwork Century". Now, you know how much I liked Priest's novels, right? Life is good.

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