Cover art by Rima Staines. Introduction by Lev Grossman.
In this, her first story collection, six years of multiaward winning Catherynne M. Valente’s acclaimed short fiction comes together in a single volume. From Mars to ancient India, from the interstellar deeps to post-war Leningrad, from selkies and gingerbread houses to zombies, noir detectives, and video games that never were, these stories leap from genre to genre, voice to voice, outer reaches to inner hearts. Here you will find strange secret histories, backalley deals between steampunk and pirate stories, between fairy tales and moon colonies, Antarctic cartographers and interplanetary documentary filmmakers. Here an author throws her voice — and a family of strange dolls speaks, as if by magic.
“She writes with a casual and ruthless grace, like a lioness or the sea. Calling her work simply delicate does it an injustice. Delicacy implies frailty, and her work is powerful. The precision of her words is not done in brushstrokes but in engraving: the line may be fine and is certainly fair, but it bites deep. her voice is not dewy cobwebs, but stars and steel.” – The Green Man Review