Beth Bernobich is a new fantasy and science fiction writer. Her short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Interzone, and Subterranean Press, among other places. Her first novel, Passion Play, will be published in October 2010 by Tor. A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories is her first short story collection and it will be published in June 2010 by Lethe Press.

Beth Bernobich's official website can be found here.


I was interested in reading A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories, because I read earlier Beth Bernobich's fantastic novella Ars Memoriae. I hoped this collection would be good and it was – when I began to read this collection I immediately liked it.

A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories is a good and versatile short story collection, which contains different kind of stories (the stories range from fantasy to science fiction). Some of the stories are better than others, but all stories are fresh and interesting and they will easily capture the reader's heart. These vibrant and beautifully crafted stories are surpringly original and they contain several adult themes. I think it's great that Beth Bernobich writes fluently about feelings, desire and sexuality. I was impressed with these stories, because they showed great creativeness.

A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories contains an introduction by James Patrick Kelly and the following stories:

  • Chrysalide
  • Poison
  • Remembrance
  • Marsdog
  • A Handful of Pearls
  • Watercolors in the Rain
  • Medusa at Morning
  • Jump to Zion
  • Air and Angels

My favourite story was "Marsdog". It was a touching and compelling story about a different kind of first contact. In my opinion this story is a fine example of the author's amazing imagination. The main character of "Marsdog" isn't human, but he could be human. He's different from humans, but the reader can easily relate to his feelings, which is nice.

I also liked "Poison" and "Remembrance", because the author wrote boldly about feelings and different forms of sexuality. The brother-sister relationship in "Poison" was simply brilliant and the way the lovers used the latest technology to communicate with each other in "Remembrance" was erotic and interesting. Writing about sexuality is often difficult for many writers, but Beth Bernobich does it well and with style.

Beth Bernobich is a gifted writer – she has a fresh voice, her own style and a talent for telling a good story. A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories is a delightful collection to speculative fiction readers, because it contains fascinating and well written stories. I liked this collection very much and I'm sure that other readers will also like it.

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