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Some excellent things of a Tuesday

You can choose between poems, novels, folklore, cool nonfiction, or nature, or--you can have all of them


People who read this blog will no doubt be aware of the new zine Liminality. Well its first issue is out! With a lovely portrait of a mangrove dryad by haikujaguar on its cover and so. many. wonderful. poems.

Maggie Hogarth's cover

I have a deep and special fondness for cafenowhere's "Love Letters for the Itinerant":

You took a pocket knife
slashed some keys and
presented me
a mildewed compass rose . . .

If railroads didn't exist
I'd lay down tracks
of twig and broken bone
I'd ladder hills and valleys
with my ribs
to get to you.

And Sofia Samatar's "Make the Night Go Faster" took my breath away--refugee tales told under a fluttering tarp, while outside the wind howls and the dogs snap:

she says
there was an ogre
with a beautiful daughter
her hair as heavy
as clusters of dates

the other children huddle close
eyes like asters
fairy stories make the night go faster

But there are also rich and strange offerings by handful_ofdust, cucumberseed, seajules, ajodasso and a host of people who are new to me as well.


Just one: Prisoner, by Lia Silver. I haven't written up my review of it yet, but it's just so good.


It's the type of absorbing adventure story I loved back in the days when I was free to just laze about reading for pleasure--it captures that feeling for me--but it's so much more than that. It's an absorbing adventure story that also contains one of the most likable protagonists ever: DJ Torres. He's a joker, but also straight-for-the-heart sincere, he's enthusiastic and positive and so warm--definitely NOT your square-jawed, silent-male type, but his warmth and openness don't come at the expense of hard-won competence. He's also a werewolf marine, by the way. It's an adventure story with werewolf marines. Also genetically engineered assassins--well, one: the co-protagonist, Echo. She's more on the model of a square-jawed, silent type (except not square jawed; more elfin, but tough), but she's also got huge emotional depths, a sister she'll sacrifice everything for, a terribly sad past (turns out it isn't easy to make genetically engineered assassins, and all of Echo's clone siblings, with the exception of her one sister, have died), and a sense of humor. Somehow the story manages to have all the id-tastic desirables of an adventure story (secret base, evil scientists, deadly desert, effed-up experimental discards, near death, etc.) without seeming silly. On the contrary, it's serious in parts, and yet that doesn't take away from the adventure elements; it makes them better. The stakes are real. You'll cry when you read it. And some moments rise to poetry:

The moon had risen by the time they left the bar, but was washed out by the street lights and neon signs. The Luxor's beam was lit, a pillar of white light piercing the sky.
"Do you know why it's flickering?" Echo asked.
DJ shook his head.
"Bats," said Echo. "Thousands of bats. The light draws moths, and the bats come to eat them. And then owls come to eat the bats. It's an entire ecosystem in mid-air."

And this doesn't count as my review! I will write up a proper review on Goodreads.


Part one of a two-part introduction to mythic, folkloric creatures from around the world is up right now at the Book Smugglers. Cultures covered include Mexican, South Asian (Vedic based), Maori, and Filipino, as well as a look at dragonlike beings around the world, and the wonders of actual, real-world trees from around the world. A great read.

"A Diverse Mythical Creatures Round Table"

Cool nonfiction

I haven't read this yet, but I'm going to: Quilombo dos Palmares: Brazil's Lost Nation of Fugitive Slaves, by Glenn Cheney.

Did you know that there was a nation of escaped slaves that existed for almost 90 years in the 1600s in Brazil? I did not. I wonder what stories and legends must come down through the generations from that nation? I expect Glenn's book will help answer that question. He's written about the dispossessed farmers of Brazil, Promised Land, which I reviewed here, so I have confidence that this book will be an in-depth, thoughtful treatment.


a leaf falls on its face--you have a hint at what that face will show, but you're not sure:

. . . so you must turn it over.


There now. Perfect.

And with that I leave you for a bit, my friends. Gotta earn some money. But I will drop by your pages and answer comments later today.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
Happy Autumn. Swamped here with work. ::hugs::
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:31 pm (UTC)
I hear you on that swamped feeling! Happy Autumn!
Sep. 23rd, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
I came back to spend lunch with LJ. I did not know that either. Very interesting.

Also - you turned over a new leaf! That's awesome.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:31 pm (UTC)
turned over a new leaf
Hahaha--I honestly didn't even think of that, but you're right :D
Sep. 23rd, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
If railroads didn't exist
I'd lay down tracks
of twig and broken bone
I'd ladder hills and valleys
with my ribs
to get to you.

I remember this! I love it just as much this time around.

Lots of interesting-sounding things here.

And that leaf! Autumn is on its way to you. Yeah, forgot "summer" was officially over by the calender. :P I wonder how cold OK will be next month... Looking forward to a bit of chill but hoping we have good weather.

Edited at 2014-09-23 06:38 pm (UTC)
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
I hope you get good weather too--fresh and cool, but not cold.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
There now. Perfect.

Those are all very excellent things. Thank you for the roundup!

This is another thing brightening my Tuesday: Saira Ali's "Gorgon Girls." I love this poem and feel very honored to have been able to publish it in Strange Horizons.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
That's such a good poem!
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:39 pm (UTC)
Whoa. That is *awesome*. That hits like a two-by-four. Preach it, Saira Ali!
Sep. 23rd, 2014 07:24 pm (UTC)
I'm really chuffed that you enjoyed "Liminality"; thank you! <3

I'll read the Book Smugglers Roundtable later.

With leaves that burn so bright, who needs bonfires?
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC)
We warm our hands by autumn leaves :-)

You guys did an *excellent* job with that first issue. Really wonderful.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
Good stuff all around!

Oh, my, that leaf has already turned color! I guess it's that time of year everywhere but here!
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC)
It will be beautiful and fresh while you're here ♥
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, that sounds heavenly!
Lula Silva
Sep. 23rd, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
You have
a beautiful mind.
Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:41 pm (UTC)
Re: You have
I live in a world where the casual acquaintances I make--who turn to friends, I should add--turn out to be gifted people creating works of power, beauty, and necessity.

Thank you :-)

Edited at 2014-09-23 11:42 pm (UTC)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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