Thursday, June 9, 2016

Glitter And Weirdness

Hi hi hi, busy busy busy, but what else is new right?  Finished a short story collection that I have been working on for a while now.  Glitter and Mayhem edited by John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas was initially put on my list for a very specific story and was read because of the insanely open ended yet very interesting premise.  Essentially this is a vastly varied and extensive collection of stories that span the genre's from sci fi to fantasy to disco romance.  Every gender, race (alien, fantasy and human), and potential setting is represented here in some way shape or form.  This makes for a collection that has something for everyone even if every one isn't into every something.  Ok on to my favorite stories.
Sister Twelve: Confessions of a Party Monster by Christopher Barzak - We start the collection with a twisted version of one my favorite fairy tales, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  In this version, the girls go with their mysterious princes through a portal that leads to all kinds of famous clubs through out various era's (think Studio 54).  Our girls lose themselves in the sex, drugs, alcohol and music of the various era's.  Definitely hits the ground running for a first story in this collection.

Subterraneans by William Shunn and Laura Chavoen - This is a bit of a twisted and uncomfortable story about a pair of girls who get mixed up in a crowd that allows a person to "ride" another.  Special pills enable the taker to essentially ride along in another person's head even to the point of being able to influence them to some degree.  It all falls apart when the being that is supplying the pill gets upset and has to be dealt with by using her own pill against her.  This story is both intriguing and unsettling in it's conveyance of free will, possession, addiction and power.  All kinds of crazy cool in this story.

The Minotaur Girls by Tansly Rayner Roberts - Our story is a take on the Minotaur myth with a roller skating twist.  The Minotaur is a skate club that only is available by invitation.  Our heroine's friends are selected to become a part of the elite and eventually Tess (our heroine) is too.  Once in the club she discovers that all the boys and girls who have gained enterance to the club are actually prisoners in this bizzare glittery skate disco.  Tess follows various clues and hints through a labyrinth that eventually leads her to the Minotaur, a "woman" who controls the club and informs Tess that she is just a body for the Minotaur to inhabit.  Tess rebels and eventually frees everybody to try and live a different and better life YAY!

Such and Such and So and So by Maria Dahvana Headley - This story is just plain weird...but some of the visuals are so cool that it is still worth the read...even if I still have no idea what it's about.  The best part of the story is how the various drinks come to life and interact with the various patrons based on their contents.  So...yeah I like this story for the alcohol...

Bad Dream Girl by Seanan McGuire - This is the story I originally got this collection for in the first place and it did not disappoint.  It is a short story set in the authors InCryptid world and features one of my favorite characters Antimony.  I have been dying for a full book with this character as the lead, but I'll settle for this roller derby short story instead.  In this tale, the youngest Price girl combines her love of roller derby with her job as an InCryptid hunter/protecter to help the beings that she has spent her life on.  The story contains all of the authors plus's and makes me really really want another full length book!

A Hollow Play by Amal El-Mohtar - A recently out as gay Emily is adjusting to her new life in a new city.  She is invited out to the Spangled Cabaret by Anna, a girl who Emily admires from work.  They are mostly there to see Lynette one of the three in the triad that Anna is part of along with a guy named Kel.  Lynette turns out to be an amazing singer and Emily ends up at home with all three of them.  Emily discovers that Lynette and Kel are actually beings from another dimension that need a great sacrifice to get home.  Emily volunteers to give the sacrifice in return for finding someone she lost.  The results are bittersweet, but end on a hopeful note.  This is a cool mix of humanity at its best and a wonderful fantasy element.

Just Another Future Song by Daryl Gregory - I have two words for you...David Bowie...This entry is another weird one, but this one contains a bit of a mystery for us to figure out.  I'm kind of proud of myself 'cause I figured out the "twist" if you can call it that from almost the first line of the story.  Ok I'm not really explaining this story 'cause really you just need to read it.
Of the twenty one stories in this collection I really only like about half of them and really only had the few I mentioned stick with me.  I felt that a lot of the stories in the collection were overly weird just for the sake of being weird...but that is just my opinion.  I think the sheer number of stories may have contributed to the muddled feeling of the overall collection with no real pointed direction.  That being said, I really enjoyed the stories I liked and it is nice to see such a broad range of life so well represented in the pages.  The plus side to so many and so varied stories is that a broad range of people if they are patient enough to sample all the stories will probably find something to love.  I give it 6 out of 10 disco balls and recommend it to anybody who likes something out of the box.  Happy Reading Everybody!

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