After reading her Fairyland series, I promptly fell in love with her writing. So I decided to have a Catherynne M. Valente reading marathon. I don't know why I would ever choose to read this anthology first rather than her other novels, but, whatever. Maybe it was because of the Mechagirl. I love Japanese culture.
Some of her short stories were semi-autobiographical. She lived as a Navy wife in 2003, and her years in Japan really did something to her. You'll find out when you read this anthology, and her afterword.
I skipped the poetry parts, except the titular one, because I'm not much for poetry. Basically, I could only ever read haiku. And of course I still need to decipher The Melancholy of Mechagirl.
The rest of the book was word candy. My favorites were "Killswitch"
, a really short story about a mysterious game, and I could really relate to the outrage of the players of this game; "Fade to White"
, a dystopian story, maybe alternate universe wherein Japan and Russia won the wars in the 40s so on; and "13 Ways of Looking at Space/Time"
, where Valente cleverly retold famous creation stories with a twist of scientific terminologies.*3.5 stars
Maybe not for everyone who are not familiar with Valente's works yet. (Again, why did I read this first???) But her fans won't be disappointed.