Had enough, at least for now, of “writerly” writing that self-consciously struggles to be glib/cute/witty? Oh…and by the way…feeling the first little nips of winter tugging at your getting-a-bit-cold-now toes?
Click here: Altered America; Steampunk Stories by Cat Rambo
Then either prop those tootsies up in front of the fire or at least cuddle them up under a snugly warm throw. Relax. Let Nebula and World Fantasy Award nominee Cat Rambo draw you gently into a melodically shifting kaleidoscope of steampunked faerie tales with teeny, miniature gears.
A delightfully imaginative retelling of “Sleeping Beauty.” Different worlds told of with convincingly different voices. A dilapidated house, one side of which “drooped like the face of a stroke victim.” Wisteria “in frothy purple drifts.” A land of “folds and wrinkles.”
Contraptions abound, “each more cunning than the last.” But perhaps, however hard to choose, the first story, “Clockwork Faeries,” has stayed with me the longest. As a writer myself, I was quite impressed with a story in which the sole viewpoint character…utterly oblivious to his own chauvinism and yet (very real life, these apparently illogical inconsistencies) perfectly comfortable with racial diversity…so effectively communicates the errors of his ways (that he himself doesn’t see) to the reader.
Stories in which things that should always have been accepted as perfectly natural are presented as perfectly natural are wonderful and necessary. For instance, new-SFWA-member Eneasz Brodski’s masterful “Of All Possible Worlds” stands up to Voltaire with a completely convincing character whose homosexuality is presented, as it should be, as being a perfectly natural thing that no one questions. On the other hand, if all stories that deal with recently taboo situations treat it this way, is it possible that it becomes a bit like preaching to the choir? Are some opportunities to alter America lost since those who might benefit most by having their horizons expanded won’t read beyond the first page? Perhaps something can be accomplished by telling stories that explore characters with opposing points of view.
And no, I didn’t make a mistake when I entitled this post “altering” instead of “altered” America. Because “altering” is just what I think a book like Cat Rambo’s can do.