Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time at WisCon 37, socializing and doing my best to make sure other writers don't starve (also known as buying books, my favorite strategy). I feel the need to tell you what I selected.
Before and Afterlives, by Christopher Barzak. From the back cover: "These are tales of relationships with unearthly domesticity and eeriness: a woman falls in love with a haunted house; a beached mermaid is substituted for a lost missing daughter; the imaginary friend of a murdered young mother stalks the streets of her small town; a teenage boy is afflicted with a disease that causes him to vanish; a father exploits his daughter's talent for calling ghosts to her; and a wife leaves her husband and children to fulfill her obligations to a world from which she escaped." In case you were wondering what kinds of things I like to read about in short stories, now you know. It sounds like a great collection, and I have already enjoyed reading the first story in the book, "What We Know About the Lost Families of – House."
Seeing Things, by Kater Cheek. Description: "Coffee shop barista (and part-time treemaker) Kit Melbourne’s life turns upside down when her tea-leaf reading brother predicts that someone will rob her, break her heart and oh yeah, murder her. Kit suspects it has something to do with the priceless jewel she inherited from their infamous witch uncle. As the jewel’s powers begin to reveal the secret, supernatural side of the town of Seabingen, Kit realizes she has to uncover the mysteries of her uncle’s past, to find out which of his many enemies wants the jewel badly enough to kill for it." I've read enough of Kater's short stories to know that I enjoy her writing style, and I'm always psyched up to read about the secret, supernatural side of anything.
Trampoline: An Anthology, edited by Kelly Link. This book is not new—it came out about ten years ago—but I had been meaning to get this for a long time. It is a matter of public record that I'm a huge fan of Kelly Link's stories, so I'm certain that other stories she chose to put together will also make me very happy.
Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, by Annalee Newitz. From the book jacket: "In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?" You might not know this about me, but this topic is something I fret about. A lot. I'm also curious about what other people have to say about it. Given the fact that Annalee Newitz is a particularly interesting person (and also fun to chat with!), I can only believe that this book will be just right for me, especially since it seems to be angled toward fascinating science and optimism.
Which books have you picked up lately?
Disclosure of Material Connection: None! I have not gotten and will not get any financial compensation for mentioning these books. I don't do affiliate links.