Tag Archives: alix e harrow

Recommended Short Fiction: ADVANCED WORD PROBLEMS IN PORTAL MATH by Aimee Picchi & DO NOT LOOK BACK, MY LION by Alix E Harrow


Both of these stories feature women dissatisfied with their life and the culture surrounding and influencing them.

ADVANCED WORD PROBLEMS IN PORTAL MATH by Aimee Picchi is a sweet flash piece told in word problems. It’s about a girl who longs for a chance at a different life, one not foisted upon her, one that allows her to escape from the cultural pressures that hold her down. Published in Daily Science Fiction.

DO NOT LOOK BACK, MY LION by Alix E. Harrow is a tale about a woman, husband to a female war chief. She has spent her life helping to raise her wife’s children, each of them promised to the war god and path of her people. But this constant uplifting of their leader’s wars grinds the main character down, and thus she runs. But running is only the beginning. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.


Recommended Short Fiction: MR. DEATH by Alix E. Harrow & A LIFE MEASURED IN MOONS by Alexandra Hill


Today’s two story recommendations both deal with characters struggling against their bleak natures. They end in vastly different ways, a comparison of the directions one can take and the costs either paid or resisted.

MR. DEATH by Alix E. Harrow is a story about a reaper who has been recently appointed the position. Still learning his purpose and the reasons and whys of death, he is faced with a representation of a situation that occurred when he’d still been alive that puts him in a position of torment, questioning his very self. Published in Apex Magazine 2021.

A LIFE MEASURED IN MOONS by Alexandra Hill is a mysterious tale set in an historical time when a myth roams the woods. As people go missing and tensions are high, two siblings struggle against the hand the world has dealt them, unsure of their choices. Published in Writer’s Digest 2020.


 

Recommended Short Fiction: THE SYCAMORE AND THE SYBIL by Alix E. Harrow & GROW, DIVIDE, SACRIFICE, THRIVE by Jo Miles


This week’s recommended stories deal with mistreatment from family and the strength it takes to stand tall against that mistreatment.

THE SYCAMORE AND THE SYBIL by Alix E. Harrow is about a woman-turned-sycamore who can do nothing but remember a time when she’d been human while she watches another woman fall to an abusive man under her branches. Published in Uncanny Magazine.

GROW, DIVIDE, SACRIFICE, THRIVE by Jo Miles is a poignant tale about Chris, a nonbinary person who has felt cut off from their family their whole life, particularly when it came to the family’s traditional sourdough making. The family yeast, who the family pretends can communicate with them, seems to have more a spot in the family than they do, which pushes Chris to finally act. Published in Metaphorosis Magazine.


February 2020 Recommended Books

This month has been more spring than winter where I live. Can’t complain about that XD Yet, I worry there won’t be that final frost to kill all the bugs and we’ll be beset with a gnat and mosquito swarmed, spider-cloud explosion in a month or two.

You know those days where the air is filled with delightful floating cotton balls reminiscent of Charlotte’s Web? We might have a difficult time dodging them this year. Ah, well.

I’ve recently joined SWFA (yay!). Now I’m officially a member!

Also just hosted a sixth book club meeting at my house, which means that it’s been successful for an entire year and looking strong. Going to have to come up with something fun for our anniversary meeting in two months. We shall see…


THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY

by Alix E. Harrow

The meta portal fantasy I never knew I wanted.

This epistolary novel is told from the perspective of a girl who has always felt in between. About the many doors to other worlds we, as readers, have always experienced, so there’s an instant ability to empathize. There are slow revelations and deeply insidious dangers that mimic the realities of most dangers of our world better than the average novel.

Thematically, the novel is about change. About clinging to, or running from change. About choosing the change we want, rejecting the change that doesn’t suit us. Even more, it’s about the fear of change that exists in every one of us and all the different ways we face it.

As much as Ten Thousand Doors is a portal fantasy, it’s less about the worlds themselves and more about the possibility of worlds and all they might contain.


STARLESS

by Jacqueline Carey

Starless is divided into three main parts, with these parts being so uniquely different from one another that it’s necessary to mention. The first section centers on Khai’s training, the second his introduction to court life, and the third an oceanic adventure. Part one is by far my favorite of the three, delving into a setting where the gods are physical beings that grant their blessings specifically and with an eternal reason behind it. While each of the sections is divided by tone and purpose and even cast to some extent, I greatly enjoyed the entire process, from child-in-training, to the dangers of court and city, and the travels beyond.

There are larger aspects dealt with in the novel, especially that of knowing and accepting oneself, though it’s done primarily through the scope of Khai and one other who is introduced in the second part of the novel. However, though there might be a few interesting questions and a couple of characters that add to the great diversity in the fantasy and science-fiction realm these days, Starless is much more an adventure fantasy from start to finish, which I happened to love.


SPINNING SILVER

by Naomi Novik

I picked up Spinning Silver in response to having read Uprooted and though I admit to loving Uprooted just a little more than Spinning Silver, that’s not in any way a complaint against this novel. For Spinning Silver is a beautiful fairy tale-esque story revolving around a moneylender and the people in her life as she strives to not just overcome the struggles of her family, but to best those conflicts entirely.

There’s an entire parallel world, one filled with a cold fae people and their own unique culture, that is brought to the forefront during this journey, as well as an enemy far closer to home. All the pieces of this novel expand across numerous characters and settings and yet, every single thread is interwoven tightly and meaningfully.

One of those books that starts slow by necessity because of all the introduced characters, but builds and builds into a rush of a climax. A really fun book.