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Theodora Goss

Theodora GossTheodora Goss is a Hungarian American writer of fantasy short stories. Her stories have been nominated for major awards: “Pip and the Fairies” for the Nebula Award in 2007, and “The Wings of Meister Wilhelm” was nominated for the 2005 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction. She won the 2004 Rhysling Award for Best Long Poem for “Octavia is Lost in the Hall of Masks.” Her collection In the Forest of Forgetting was published in 2006 by Prime Books. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English while also teaching full-time at Boston University. She resides in Boston, MA, with her husband, Kendrick, and daughter, Ophelia.

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The Thorn and the Blossom: On the Edge

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The Thorn and The Blossom by Theodora Goss

In our Edge of the Universe column, we review books that may not be classified SFF but that incorporate elements of speculative fiction. However you want to label them, we hope you’ll enjoy discussing these books with us.

Evelyn and Brendan are both students at Oxford when they meet in the tiny Cornish town of Clews, where Evelyn is taking a much-needed break and Brendan is working in his father’s bookstore. A romance begins to bloom between the two, and Brendan shares with Evelyn his favorite legend: a local Arthurian variant about star-crossed lovers Gawan and Elowen. Then something uncanny occurs, and Evelyn and Brendan part and lose touch. Ten years later they meet again while teaching at Bar... Read More

Magazine Monday: Weird Tales

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Weird Tales celebrates “Uncanny Beauty” in the Summer 2010 issue (No. 356, and the most recent issue available as of this writing). The best story in the magazine, though, is one that is off-theme. “How Bria Died,” by Mike Aronovitz, is the tale of an unorthodox teacher who may well have taken his unusual teaching methods a step too far for the universe to abide.  This horror story is fresh, original and written from a position of real authority:  Aronovitz teaches English in a school much like the one in which his story is set.

Kat Howard’s “Beauty and Disappearance” is a surreal tale of disappearing bits of statues, soon followed by the disappearance – at first intentional, and later not so much – of other bits and pieces of other things. The reader is pushed to consider that beauty migh... Read More

Magazine Monday: Realms of Fantasy Under New Management

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The first issue of Realms of Fantasy published by Damnation Books feels no different at all from issues published while it was owned by different publishers, and no wonder:  the editorial staff is the same. Shawna McCarthy continues to fulfill the role of fiction editor, as she has since the magazine was founded. That explains why the February 2011 issue contains such a fine offering of short stories. Douglas Cohen is still the editor, and that explains why there is such a fine selection of nonfiction, from Theodora Goss’s “The Femme Fatale at the Fin-de-Siecle,” a piece that would be at home in any academic journal, to Karen Haber’s art column about Dominic Harman (munificently ill... Read More

Magazine Monday: Realms of Fantasy, April 2011

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The April 2011 issue of Realms of Fantasy is identified as a “Special Dark Fantasy Issue.” The nifty cover illustration by Brom fits the theme perfectly. And there’s lots more Brom inside, including an interview by Karen Haber and a considerable number of examples of his work. This is a man who must use up his blue, gray, red and black paints with considerable speed -- but he never seems to use up his imagination.

The best story in this issue is about the Cthulhu Mythos, which has really been enjoying a renaissance these days. “The Strange Case of Madelein H. March (Ages 14-1/4)” by Von Carr is that rarity in fantasy, a story intended to be funny that actually will make you laugh. Maddie has been left in charge of the family home while her parents and her elder sister go... Read More

Magazine Monday: Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 26, July 2012

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Lightspeed Magazine is edited by the formidable John Joseph Adams, who has produced a long series of wonderful anthologies and is soon to launch a new horror magazine. One might be concerned that such a busy schedule would mean that something would get short shrift, but if that is the case, it certainly isn’t Issue 26 of Lightspeed.

About half of the content of this magazine, which is produced in electronic format only, consists of interviews, novel excerpts, an artist gallery and spotlight, and author spotlights. In addition, roughly half of the fiction offered is original; the rest is reprinted, though the choices are inspired. Th... Read More

SFM: Goss, Hogarth, Algernon, Maberry

Short Fiction Monday: There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read (or listened to!) this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“Red as Blood and White as Bone” by Theodora Goss (May 2016, free at Tor.com, $0.99 Kindle version)

Klara, the daughter of a woodcutter, now a kitchen maid at a wealthy baron’s castle, deeply loves fairy tales, which are the only outlet for her imagination. Perhaps she is a princess in disguise, or at least can help one someday. So one day when a mysterious, love... Read More

SFM: Barnhill, Clark, Goss, Smith, Polansky

Short Fiction Monday: Our weekly exploration of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. We've found some excellent stories this week!

 


“Probably Still the Chosen One” by Kelly Barnhill (Feb. 2017, free at Lightspeed, $3.99 Kindle magazine issue)

Eleven year old Corinna discovered a strange metal door in the cupboard under the sink of her home, which is a portal to the magical land of Nibiru, where she is hailed as their Princess, their Chosen One. After spending a year and a day in war-torn Nibiru, where she learned swordfighting, battle tactics and survival skills fighting wit... Read More

Mythic: Quality makes up for quantity in this anthology

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Mythic edited by Mike Allen

While a relatively short anthology, what Mythic lacks in quantity is more than made up for with the quality of its selections. Each poem and story stands out as well as fitting the "mythic" tone the book is attempting to capture. Right from the very start, I was already enamored by the opening poem, "Syllables of Old Lore" by Vandana Singh and Mike Allen keeps the interest, flow, and beat consistent throughout the volume.

There are some editorial choices I'd like to highlight. The first is the sequencing. The poems alternate with the short stories and, if you're like me who reads anthologies in the sequence they're presented, this formula works. I can imagine my interest waning if I was barraged with poems initially followed by short stories and vice versa. As it is, Read More

Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology

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Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology  edited by James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel

Is there really any difference between post-modernism, interstitial fiction, slipstream and New Weird? Does anyone know? James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel try to outline the boundaries of slipstream with their anthology, Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, particularly by including a learned introduction and excerpts from a discussion that took place on the subject on a blog a few years ago. Ultimately, like so many things literary, from science fiction to erotica, it comes down to this: slipstream is what I’m pointing to when I say “slipstream.” Yes, ... Read More

Oz Reimagined: You might not even find yourself in Oz

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Oz Reimagined edited by John Joseph Adams

Oz Reimagined is a collection of tales whose characters return as often, if not more often, to the "idea" of Oz as opposed to the actual Oz many of us read about as kids (or adults) and even more of us saw in the famed MGM version of the film. As its editors, John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen, say in their introduction: "You might not even find yourself in Oz, though in spirit, all these stories take place in Oz, regardless of their actual location." And actually, I personally found my favorites in here mostly to be those stories that did not hew too closely with Baum's characters or plots, but instead took the characters and skewed them, or sent them down a different path than the yellow-bricked one. Though as is often the case with anthologies, I found the collection as a whole a mixed bag, its stories evoking reactions varying from distaste to "meh" to ... Read More

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: For a dose of crazy genius

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The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination edited by John Joseph Adams

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is the latest themed anthology edited by John Joseph Adams — and it’s another good one. This time, Adams has collected a set of short stories featuring the hero’s (or often superhero’s) traditional antagonist: the mad genius, the super-villain, the brilliant sociopath who wants to remold the world in his own image — or occasionally, maybe, just be left alone in his secret lair to conduct spine-tingling experiments that, as an unfortunate side-effect, may cause drastically rearranged geography, rampant mutation, or major extinction events.

Under the editorial direction of John Joseph Adams, this anthology offers an impressively varied view on this archetypical character. Some stories refer back to mad geniuses you’ll be familiar with (Fran... Read More

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014: An enjoyable collection

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The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014 edited by Rich Horton

I've been reading a lot of anthologies lately, including another of the several "Year's Best" collections (the Jonathan Strahan one). I was pleased to find that, unlike some of the others, this one matched my tastes fairly well for the most part.

I enjoy stories in which capable, likeable or sympathetic characters, confronted by challenges, confront them right back and bring the situation to some sort of meaningful conclusion. I was worried when I read the editor's introduction and saw him praising Lightspeed and Clarkesworld magazines, because they can often be the home of another kind of story, in which alienated, passive characters are... Read More

International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Part Three

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Lunch on Friday included a presentation by the scholar guest of honor, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen. His talk was entitled “Undead,” and was a meditation on the meaning of that word -- or, in other words, on zombies. Undead does not, Cohen noted, mean that the undead thing is alive; it is a restless state from which monsters arise. What is behind the shift in our literature from ghosts to zombies? Zombies pose no challenge to our minds, as ghosts do, but just want to eat our brains, the physical repositories of our minds. We don’t love zombies the way we might love some ghosts, but think of them as only bodies, things, a collective, a form. If horror is made for mapping what we fe... Read More