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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

SPOTLIGHT on Three Titles of Interest: Yoko Ogawa, Australian Space SF Anthology and Justin Isis (with comments by Liviu Suciu)

"Sinister forces draw together a cast of desperate characters in this eerie and absorbing novel from Yoko Ogawa.

An aspiring writer moves into a new apartment and discovers that her landlady has murdered her husband. Years later, the writer’s stepson reflects upon his stepmother and the strange stories she used to tell him. Meanwhile, a surgeon’s lover vows to kill him if he does not leave his wife. Before she can follow-through on her crime of passion, though, the surgeon will cross paths with another remarkable woman, a cabaret singer whose heart beats delicately outside of her body. But when the surgeon promises to repair her condition, he sparks the jealousy of another man who would like to preserve the heart in a custom tailored bag. Murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders—their fates converge in a darkly beautiful web that they are each powerless to escape.

Macabre, fiendishly clever, and with a touch of the supernatural, Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge creates a haunting tapestry of death—and the afterlife of the living"

After the superb Hotel Iris (FBC Review), I decided to keep an eye on any of the work of Yoko Ogawa that is translated in English. On January 29, Revenge which is a collection of 11 interlinked tales - at least that is claimed and while so far I have read the first three, I have yet to see the connection, but it definitely may be there - will be published by Picador. 

Absorbing and quite dark stuff so far, will add more when I finish the book!

Here is the table of contents:

"Afternoon at the Bakery 1
Fruit Juice 13
Old Mrs. J 25
The Little Dustman 39
Lab Coats 51
Sewing for the Heart 59
Welcome to the Museum of Torture 77
The Man Who Sold Braces 97
The Last Hour of the Bengal Tiger 119
Tomatoes and the Full Moon 131
Poison Plants 151"



"Award winning independent Australian press Coeur de Lion publishing presents twenty-nine all new science fiction stories of humanity’s adventures out there, anywhere but Earth, featuring original works by Margo Lanagan, Sean McMullen, Richard Harland, and Kim Westwood among a galaxy of new and established Australian and overseas speculative fiction authors. 728 pages."

Anywhere but Earth is a sf anthology edited by Keith Stevenson with the obvious title thematic. I found about it recently by chance and I bought an ebook (from the Kobo link as Kobo's coupons when applicable offer usually better prices than anywhere) as it seemed quite interesting. 

So far I have not had the chance to really get into it, but I think it is a very interesting anthology and worth taking a look at. As usual I will update here and on Goodreads when I read some stories from it.

Here is the table of contents: 

"Calie Voorhis ‘Murmer’
Cat Sparks ‘Beautiful’
Simon Petrie ‘Hatchway’
Lee Battersby ‘At the End There Was a Man’
Alan Baxter ‘Unexpected Launch’

Richard Harland ‘An Exhibition of the Plague’
Robert N Stephenson ‘Rains of la Strange’
Liz Argall ‘Maia Blue is Going Home’
Chris McMahon ‘Memories of Mars’
CJ Paget ‘Pink Ice in the Jovian Rings’

Penelope Love ‘SIBO’
Donna Maree Hanson ‘Beneath the Floating City’
Erin E Stocks ‘Lisse’
William RD Wood ‘Deuteronomy’
Robert Hood ‘Desert Madonna’

Steve de Beer ‘Psi World’
Damon Shaw ‘Continuity’
Wendy Waring ‘Alien Tears’
Patty Jansen ‘Poor Man’s Travel’
Jason Fischer ‘Eating Gnashdal’

Kim Westwood ‘By Any Other Name’
Brendan Duffy ‘Space Girl Blues’
TF Davenport ‘Oak with the Left Hand’
Sean McMullen ‘Spacebook’
Margo Lanagan ‘Yon Horned Moon’
Mark Rossiter ‘The Caretaker

Jason Nahrung ‘Messiah on the Rock’
Angela Ambroz ‘Pyaar Kiya’
Steve Cameron ‘So Sad, the Lighthouse Keeper"


"A collection of obsessive and yet crystalline stories set in contemporary Japan, written with savvy that is flawlessly streetwise, literary and metaphysically profound all at once. Futuristic in outlook, up-to-the-minute in setting and sophisticated in influence, these are stories for those who feel that literature has not caught up with the 21st century."

Published by noted weird fiction Chomu Press (Brendan Connell, Michael Cisco and others), Justin Isis' I Wonder What Human Flesh Tastes Like is a hybrid novel/collection that is strange and wonderful. 

This one is available only on Amazon Kindle as ebook for now as it is a Kindle Select title - so if you have any kind of Kindle you can borrow it for free on your monthly book quota, though since as mentioned earlier, I have a Nook HD+, I had to buy it of course, but it is worth all the money and more as so far I greatly enjoyed all the 7 stories I have read and I expect the same with the last 3 when I get to them sooner rather than later.
Dark fiction, keeping one on edge and with superb characters and prose to boot.

 Here is the table of contents:

"Introduction by Quentin S. Crisp

1. I Wonder What Human Flesh Tastes Like Unauthorized Egg Model Book Cover
2. Nanako
3. Manami’s Hair
4. The Garden of Sleep
5. I Wonder What Human Flesh Tastes Like
6. The Quest for Chinese People
7. A Design for Life
8. I Wonder What Human Flesh Tastes Like Etc.
9. The Eye of the Living Is No Warmth
10. A Thread from Heaven"


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