Finally, let me make a frighteningly big admission: I am not usually a huge fan of Margo Lanagan's work. It's not that I dislike her writing; on the contrary, I think she is hugely talented author. For me, though, her stories tend to just be too dark to enjoy; and the very fact that she writes so beautifully, I think, makes it all the more distressing to read. Also in X6, however, is Lanagan's "Sea-Hearts." This story captivated me. It seemed weird, after reading it, that few novellas capitalise on the form in a way that seems most suited: by telling a story that takes place over a long period of time. Lanagan does that, and it surprised me a few times when the story kept going - but it made sense every time, and every addition to the story developed it more and more richly. Fleshing out, as it were, the old story of the selkie wife, it examines relationships in all their complexities. Finally, a Lanagan story that - while still being dark and murky - doesn't make me want to cry at the rottenness of the world!
*vows to do a proper three-hanky job next time*