Monday, May 07, 2007

Paul Tremblay at Clarkesworld Magazine

I’ve been making a stink over at the HWA message board over the manner by which fiction comes to the attention of the Stoker voting body. Given that I’m guilty of the same laziness I implied everybody else needed remedy, I figure I should try harder to keep up with the fiction being published this year.

My first order of business was to check out Paul Tremblay’s short in this month’s Clarkesworld: There's No Light Between Floors. It’s smart, beautifully written, and haunting. I loved it so much that I went back, and read all the Clarkesworld stories.

My favorites:

The Third Bear by Jeff Vandermeer
Wonderful piece of fiction about a bear in the woods that is picking off villagers one by one. My only regret is that it’s online, as I think its length demands hard copy.

Something in the Mermaid Way by Carrie Laben
Right up my alley. Gorgeous prose. Sly story. A real kick in the teeth, in a devastating, wondrous kind of way.

Automatic by Erica L. Satifka
I loves the futuristic, we’ll all under alien control stories! Loves them!

A Light in Troy by Sarah Monette
A fully imagined story in very few words. Also, Ms. Monette thinks librarians are prison wardens, too.

What's nice is that I wanted to like Paul's story, but instead I loved it. It sneaked up on me, and didn't let go. Every once in a while, I realize that something pretty special is happening in the genre. The people I'm surrounded by are writing exciting, trail-blazing fiction, and I've got a front row seat.

What's perplexing is my tendency to prefer the women's fiction among these titles. But that's fine by me. I can live with being a little sexist. The one thing I missed here was a story by KZ Perry. I hope to see one soon. I love her work.

I'd be remiss not to give a nod to Nick Mamatas here. He makes it his business to get as varied a sampling of the genre as possible, and he actively works to get more women published. Also, he picked all the above wonderful stories. I hope they get anthologized, and win lots of prizes. And I hope Nick wins a prize, too.

So, go now! Go read Clarkesworld Magazine!