Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Firebird Once More

Hi Readers, here I am with promised rambling.  I'm excited to finally get back to it!!!!!   Ok so today let's ramble about Firebirds Soaring edited by Sharyn November, the last in the trilogy of Firebird short story collections.  As with the previous two installations, this book contains a wide variety of short stories in what we now call speculative fiction...which is essentially an encompassing genre that includes all manner of sci fi, fantasy and all the wonderful gray areas in between.  Here are a couple...well more then a couple of my favorites in this collection.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Kingmaker by Nancy Springer - This opening short story shows us a young woman who is desperate to keep a potentially bad ruler off the throne.  She stumbles upon an object that will not only allow her to keep said baddie away, but potentially rule the world herself.  She realizes this is not the way and takes the hard route instead.  A lot of story is packed in these few pages but it feels and old school tale you tell the young warriors around the camp fire.

Egg Magic by Louise Marley - I always love a magic story that involves either everyday items or everyday jobs.  This story hits the spot telling us about a girl, her hens, their sometimes magic eggs, a wild magic mother and the need to figure out how to fit in with a life not of her choosing.  I really like the mix of domesticness and magic in this story.

Flatland by Kara Dalkey - Set in the future, kids/teenagers are recruited right out of school by huge companies to essentially live/eat/sleep/breath work.  These kids get paid, room and board and access to all kinds of services in return for almost around the clock computer work.  Our girl is essentially told to go on vacation, here through various means she realizes how much she misses actually having a life, breathing fresh air and just having time to herself.  This is a very for the moment story that explores the new way people work, having the means to always be connected to work is not always the best thing.

Ferryman by Margo Lanagan - The tale is short, sad yet awesome.  We get to see the daily life of Charon as his wife and daughter make him lunch, bring it to him, almost making the ferryman of the dead a regular working stiff...until he falls into the river and becomes a real stiff.  Although very sad...I don't know...I really really liked this story.

The Ghosts of Strangers by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - This is more of a novella then a short story, but it was epic.  In this world the people of the village have a deal with the dragons.  We learn that when the human bond mate of a dragon dies, he/she has the option of being fed to their dragon and become part of the dragon.  We follow our heroin as she has a special gift of being able to see and capture ghosts which she then feeds the dragons.  Awesome story and now I want to see if it ever got expanded to novel form.

Three Twilight Tales by Jo Walton - Not a lot to say about these other then they read as pure magic.  To me this type of dream land story telling is exactly what the short story format is all about.  There are three tales all interwoven and beautiful and just wonderful.

The Dignity He's Due by Carol Emshwiller - A mom, her daughter and her son wander through out the state, never settling down.  Mom is convinced that her son is really a long lost Prince and treats him accordingly.  Sister is just trying to make some sort of life for them.  This story really gets to me as it shows us how easily the line between reality and fantasy can be blurred.  It also shows us the importance of family and how anybody can be their for anybody else.

I'm kind of sad that this series is over.  I have found many many many new stories, authors and books from these three collections.  However I am glad to have had the chance to discover and read all these gems.  I recommend this collection to anybody who likes a good story and I give it 8 out of 10 kitsune.  Happy Reading Everybody!

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