Excerpt from the Short Story “What Kind Are You?”

"What Kind Are You?" illustration from The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags and Other Stories

by Melanie Lamaga This excerpt is from the collection , available from Amazon.com in paperback and e-book format. WHAT KIND ARE YOU? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” -William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark When I remember Dundalk, Maryland, I think of the Fish Pub: […] Read more »

Review of Brown Girl in the Ring, by Nalo Hopkinson

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Serving the Spirits In this near future, post-apocalyptic Toronto, the wealthy live in the suburbs. In the inner city, government and social structures have disintegrated after a series of riots. “The ones who couldn’t or wouldn’t get out,” use a system of barter, and live under the shadow of crime-lord Rudy and his posse. Ti-Jeanne, […] Read more »

Short Stories by Kelly Link, a review

Review of Kelly Link, by Melanie Lamaga, The Metaphysical Circus

Nobody writes cooler stories than Kelly Link. Link’s stories draw from fairy tales, myth, pop culture, experimental, horror, gothic, and detective fiction, the tabloids, dreams, nightmares, and half a dozen other things. But this is not merely pulp fiction—wham, bam, thrill and chill. Link uses the tools of pulp fiction to deal with literary concerns: […] Read more »

Waking the Moon, by Elizabeth Hand

Cover art of Waking the Moon, a novel by Elizabeth Hand, reviewed by Melanie Lamaga, The Metaphysical Circus

The Moon with a Knife-Sharp Edge Three unwitting college students stand between the reawakening of a dark goddess and the Benandanti, a secret society of magicians who have been running the world for thousands of years. Waking the Moon, which won a Mythopoeic Award and a James Tiptree, Jr. Award, is part horror, part coming […] Read more »

Review of Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente

Silently and Very Fast, novel by Catherynne M. Valente, Cover art

A Beautiful View of The Singularity Imagine if you could go anywhere, do anything, and never be alone. Would it bother you if your closest companion and co-creator was a machine? You might think so, but then again you might change your mind after reading this gorgeous, evocative novel, narrated by Elefsis, the machine in […] Read more »

Review of lost boy lost girl: a novel, by Peter Straub

A Metaphysical Circus review of lost boy lost girl: a novel, by Peter Straub

This novel, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, is part murder mystery, part ghost story and part family drama, with an unexpected, transcendent ending. The story follows Tim Underhill, (a character from earlier novels by Straub), as he attempts to cope with a series of tragic, mysterious events afflicting the family of […] Read more »

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier Cover Art

The Illumination is a literary novel with only one fantastic element, but it’s a doozy: one day, inexplicably, the bodily pain of each and every human being on earth begins to manifest as a white light. Everything from a headache to leukemia shines out of the body like a beacon for all to see. The […] Read more »

Freaks’ Amour, by Tom De Haven

Cover of Freaks' Amour, a novel by Tom De Haven

Mutants on the Outside, Looking In Hardcore. That’s the word that comes to mind. But not just because Freaks’ Amour refers to a XXX rated show where Normals go to watch mutant men rape their wives and girlfriends (and for a finale the Normals pelt them with rotten fruit). The sex scenes are not particularly […] Read more »

Perla and the Obsidian Man

Perla, photo collage by Melanie Lamaga

A Short Story by Melanie Lamaga Once there was a poor farmer. His father had been a successful farmer, and his grandfather a rich one; but since those days, the great river that irrigated the family’s land had gone completely dry. The people of the North Country were siphoning off the water, and the delta, […] Read more »

The Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The Sirens of Titan book cover

An Alien Anthropologist Visits Planet Earth I’ve read quite a few of Vonnegut’s novels now, and I’ve decided he is, in fact, an alien observer of a strange and dangerous race: humans. Vonnegut’s stories show us our every shortcoming without rancor. Like a good anthropologist, he’s neither angry nor particularly compassionate. He doesn’t make excuses […] Read more »