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Books 1-10.
11. The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron.
12. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith writing as Claire Morgan.
13. Surviving the Siege of Beirut: A Personal Account by Lina Mikdadi.
14. Mammoths of the Great Plains by Eleanor Arnason.
15. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.
16. The Robotics Primer by Maja J. Matarić.
17. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.
18. A Game for the Living by Patricia Highsmith.

19. Alcestis by Katharine Beutner. Alcestis, you might recall--though to be honest, I didn't--was the wife of King Admetus, who volunteered to take his place in death, descended to Hades, and was brought back by Heracles. Beutner takes the story and uses it to illuminate the lives of Greek women, something we don't read much of in the myths. Alcestis's life--everything, from her domestic activities to her sexuality--is bounded by first her father's house, then her husband's; it's only in her death that her life becomes unstructured and self-determined. (It's more complicated than that, but I don't want to give too much away, here.) Beutner's handling of the Greek gods is remarkable for its matter-of-factness; Alcestis is the granddaughter of Poseidon, and Apollo, Hermes, Hades and Persephone all appear here, manipulating mortals but manipulated in turn by the Fates and their own passions. The novel has a strong start, exploring Alcestis's relationships with her sisters and the other women in her life, since her own mother died in childbirth. It's the chronicle of the time in the underworld that makes the novel work, though. Although at times this section feels too unstructured (deliberately so, I think--see above about Alcestis's limits in life), it's there that she discovers who she is and what she wants. Self-knowledge has its tragic side, of course, but again that's something I don't want to give away. A welcome feminist perspective on the Greek tradition.


David J. Schwartz
Mumble Herder

Recent and Forthcoming



US Edition

UK Edition


"The Sun Inside," part of the Electrum Novella Series from Rabit Transit Press

Short Stories:

"Escape to Bird Island" at The King's English, Winter 2008-9 Issue

"Bear In Contradicting Landscape" in Polyphony 7, Coming Soon

"MonstroCities" in Tumbarumba: A Frolic of Intrusions

"Mike's Place" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #22

"Proof of Zero" in Spicy Slipstream Stories, Out Now!!

"The Somnambulist" in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Out Now!!

"Oma Dortchen and the Pillar of Story" in Farrago's Wainscot, Summer 2007

"The Ichthyomancer Writes His Friend with an Account of the Yeti's Birthday Party" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Number 13, Fall 2003 (Honorable Mention, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collecion); Reprinted in The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet


""Stardust" at Strange Horizons


"On Making Noise: Confessions of a Quiet Kid" in Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer



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