My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I tried reading Kathe Koja’s novel Under the Poppy and couldn’t get into it, which was disappointing, since she’s billed as such a stylist. I had expected to love her work.
Although I failed to connect with that particular novel, I found my common sensibilities with Koja in this anthology, her selection of the best weird fiction from 2014. She has an ear for language that resonates with mine. I liked almost love every story in this anthology, and appreciated the gorgeous writing even if the story didn’t grab and shake me.
My standouts were K. M. Ferebee’s “The Earth and Everything Under,” Kima Jones’s “Nine,” Sunny Moraine’s “So Sharp That Blood Must Flow,” and Isabel Yap’s “A Cup of Salt Tears,” which I read upon its first publication by Tor.com, and was more than happy to revisit. I’m excited to find more work from K. M. Ferebee – I’ve been thinking about that story for weeks.
Upon further research, I seem to have read two of Koja’s short stories, in the anthologies The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest and Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: an Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, but have no distinct recollection of either story or what I thought about them, except that I enjoyed both anthologies. Both are still on my shelf, so I may revisit her stories. Then again, perhaps I should leave well enough alone; I would hate to go back and discover that I didn’t like them.