"Under Hell, Over Heaven" depicts the gray apathy of an afterlife that's stuck somewhere in between the two, making us wonder if nothingness might be as tragic as suffering the pains of hell. "Hero Vale" shows us a forest near a boys' school and the grotesque, yet somehow inspiring, monster the boys find there. "Daughter of the Clay" is about a girl from a fairyland who's made of clay but somehow got stuck in the wrong world; you know, this one. "Winkie" is a truly nasty take on the tale of Wee Willie Winkie from the point of view of a small child. Think of the "Tapping at the window, crying at the lock" part of that rhyme and you'll get the idea. Yeesh, Ms. Lanagan, isn't it always sunny in Australia?She also says: 'A couple of the shorter stories felt a bit stunted, like false starts, but the language and setting of the others opened like a flower, satisfying to discover.'
I thought this was a good, attentive, intelligent review. Now I must hurry off and work on my stuntedness.
For the next three weeks I'll be finishing the Tender Morsels revisions. I'm also going to try and keep myself healthy, sober-ish and sane, so that I have more than, say, two clear-headed hours each day to work in. That would be sensible, wouldn't it? That would be adult of me. I've started off well by using the two pin-sharp awake hours of jetlag insomnia from 5 to 7 this morning to get started on a missing morsel of Morsels. Well done me.
Ellen Datlow's photos from World Fantasy are over here, and Cat Sparks' are here. Sigh, that was fun.