Book Review

by Catherynne M. Valente

Genre: Fantasy, Anthology

RT Rating

Valente’s descriptive and lush prose is evident in this collection of fantastic short stories and poems. The 26 tales offer up unique settings and points of view, and characters including vampires, demons, artificial intelligences, dragons and even Santa Claus. While every story won’t appeal to all readers, those who give this a try will find it’s an enjoyable read that can be spread out over time.

In “White Lines on a Green Field,” Coyote is a popular quarterback who turns a losing high school into champions for his own ends. Toys come to life in “We Without Us Were Shadows,” as young Charlotte Bronte and her siblings discover a magical world on a cold moor. “The Bread We Eat in Dreams” tells of an exiled demon who predates the state of Maine, where she insinuates herself into the community growing around her. A different kind of monster lives “In the Future When All’s Well” as Scout makes peace with the fact that she’s at high risk for becoming a vampire. In “Silently and Very Fast,” readers are introduced to Elefsis, an A.I. who tells its life story. (SUBTERRANEAN, Jan., 344 pp., $40.00)

Reviewed By: Karen Sweeny-Justice


Published: January 2014

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