Monday, May 22, 2017

Wicked Wonders

Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages
Tachyon: 5/9/17
eBook review copy; 240 pages
ISBN-13: 9781616962616 

Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages is a very highly recommended collection of fourteen short stories. I enjoyed almost all of the stories in this collection immensely, with just a couple I was slightly less enthusiastic about. Those are pretty impressive odds. The stories consist of a mix of science fiction, fantasy, humor, coming-of-age, magic, and real life. All the stories except for one, Woodsmoke, have been previously published.

Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler: "There is something powerfully strange and strangely powerful, but it is off to the side or coming up behind you. You’ll sense it in the small, particular details at which Ellen excels..." "The only thing you can depend on is magic. However sober and quotidian the world, Ellen always brings the magic."
The Education of a Witch: Young Lizzy loves Maleficent the witch from Sleeping Beauty while dealing with changes in her life.
Amicae Aeternum: Before she and her parents board The Goddard, a generation ship, Corrine Garcia-Kelly is saying good-bye to everything she will miss on Earth.
Mrs. Zeno’s Paradox: Annabel meets Midge for a treat, which they split, repeatedly.
Singing on a Star: Becka has her first sleep over at her friend Jamie's house where a song opens an elevator to a different world where she meets a man named Hollis.
Hey, Presto!: Polly is working with her father, the magician Vardo!, for the summer.
Echoes of Aurora:  Jo Norwood returns to her hometown to settle her father's estate after being gone 35 years and meets Aurora.
Friday Night at St. Cecilia’s: Rachel Sweeney was supposed to be playing backgammon with her friend Addie, but instead gets caught up in the grip of a fairy queen and is trapped inside several board games.
Caligo Lane: Located in San Francisco, Caligo Lane might be an illusion. Difficult to reach, or find again, it is here that Franny, a cartographer, lives and combines mapmaking and origami.
Goodnight Moons: Zoe is part of the first team of six astronauts to go to Mars. She discovers she is pregnant after they have already started their voyage.
Gone to the Library: Izzy, an eight year-old girl who loves math, meets her neighbor, Bibber, who needs her help. 
Household Management: We get a glimpse into the life of Sherlock Holmes landlady.
Sponda the Suet Girl and the Secret of the French Pearl: A thief buys a map that he believes will lead him to a wizard who owns a pearl of great value.
Woodsmoke: "Every childhood summer is special. School is out and freedom beckons. Then comes a magic summer.... For Patricia Ann Maas that summer was 1963..." Patty spends her fifth summer at camp Wokanda, where she can be herself and is known by the nickname Peete.
The Scary Ham: A true story. Klages father was given a full-sized ham which he hung in his basement for twenty years, in the room with the litter box. This story and pictures can be found on the Tor website.
Afterword: Why I Write Short Fiction
10 Facts About Ellen Klages
Story Notes About the Author

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Tachyon.

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