This week, I’m looking at hope, fear and love.
I’m visiting a future Mexico City to spend time with a young woman who dreams of going to Mars. Then reading some short stories about the things women fear when they’re alone in the dark. Finally, I’m indulging in a Young Adult tale about a ghost hunter in love with a ghost who went to Hell for him and is now coming back.
‘Prime Meridian’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (2017)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of the novels Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things, Untamed Shore, and , most recently Mexican Gothic. She has also edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu’s Daughters). She describes herself as ‘Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination’.
I first encountered in her in New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shaw where her short but vivid story, Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister caught my attention.
This week I’m trying her novella about a young woman in a future Mexico City, trapped in purposeless life, who focuses her hopes on finding a way to go to Mars. Despite the cover, I’m expecting this to be more about the frustrations of city living when jobs are hard to come by than about space travel.
‘Things We Say In The Dark‘ by Kirsty Logan (2019)
Kirsty Logan is a Scottish writer of novels and short stories whose books include The Gloaming, The Gracekeepers, A Portable Shelter, and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales.
I keep hearing good things about her – that her fiction is dark, original and human – that she’s got an Angela Carter vibe – that she’s a bright talent in the horror world who also wins acclaim from the Lit Fic critics.
Her short story collection, Things We Say In The Dark sounds like a good way to sample her writing and is an excellent fit for this Halloween weekend.
‘Girl Of Nightmares’ by Kendare Blake (2012)
Kendare Blake is a writer of dark, violent tales. Born in Korea and raised in the United States, she’s based in Washington. Her first novel Sleepwalk Society was shortlisted for the 2011 Indie Excellence Finalist in the Crossover Fiction category. Since then she’s written three book series, the Goddess War series, the Three Dark Crowns series and the Anna series
I read the first Anna book, Anna Dressed In Blood back in 2012 and thought it was an excellent example of a ghost story where fear is something to be fought and the future as something we have to win the right to. Despite the horror wrought and the blood spilt, the most important thing in the book was the bonds forged between the weak and the frightened to push back the dark.
Girl Of Nightmares is the sequel to Anna Dressed In Blood and it’s sat on my TBR pile much longer than it should have done. I’m hoping that the second book will be as powerful as the first but will find a new angle to challenge the main characters. I’d hate it to devolve in a YA boy-meets-ghost love story.