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Showing posts from February, 2017

Winter Fiction recs! A Taste of Honey and more (Dec 2016-Feb 2017)

It's been a while since I’ve done one of these. I’d set a rhythm of reviewing short fiction bimonthly and then. . . just lost the rhythm. Life intervened, I would say, although in truth I have not been particularly busy (okay, I’ve been busy panicking over U.S. politics? But that’s not really productive. . .)
Anyway. I’m still reading, even if I’m not writing very much. Reading helps. It always helps.
Here are some stories that have stood out for me over the past few months. They’re beautiful, moving, and alternately shot through with darkness and light. Maybe some of these will help you, too.
Free to read online
Zombies in Winter by Naomi Kritzer in Persistent Visions
A zombie story that doesn’t unfold as you’d expect. When the narrator’s friend Tom falls victim to a plague which robs him of personality and mind, the narrator steps in to care for his best friend—even though his friend no longer recognizes him. The narrator cares tenderly for the zombie that Tom has become, in tribute…

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood: Quote

Just finished reading Christopher Isherwood'sGoodbye to Berlin, a slim collection of linked short stories set in in Berlin, Germany during the early 1930s, on the eve of Hitler's rise to power.
The stories are primarily sharp, vivid sketches of the many eccentric characters the narrator (an Englishman named, like the author, Christopher Isherwood) meets during his stay. There's much lightness and humor in these adventures, but a thread of sadness also runs through these stories, and the tone of foreboding grows stronger as the book proceeds.
The most chilling passage occurs in the last pages, as the narrator prepares to leave Berlin as the Nazis take power. His German landlady is distraught, asking why he feels the need to leave. He thinks:

"It's no use trying to explain to her, or talking politics. Already she is adapting herself, as she will adapt herself to every new regime. This morning I even heard her talking reverently about "Der Fuhrer" to the porte…