Jun. 27th, 2014

divisionsandprecisions: (dry)
An interesting story taking place in poor villages in modern Thailand, about local folklore and rituals, especially a festival where everyone writes wished on slips of paper and sends them off. Not much of a plot as such, and it would have benefited in parts from a more vivid visual description, but lots of humor and interesting, so I recommend it.

It is harder to write much about a short story, especially without spoilers.
divisionsandprecisions: (dry)
Last fiction for the Hugos. Unless I go back and read the other 14,000 pages of Wheel of Time. Until the packet for the Retro Hugo comes out (if ever). Actually, there is a ton of fiction included for the two best editor categories, and I don't know yet if I will feel I know enough to express an opinion for best editor.

I didn't feel that I started to understand "Selkie Stories are for Losers" until I had read/heard it two and half times. Strange Horizons published both the text and the audio.

The main character is an obnoxious teenager into alcohol and weed with no plans, and her mother walked out on the family when she was young. The character is obsessed with hatred for the folklore of selkies (magical sea creatures forced to stay in human form when separated from their skins; fisherman finds the skin, and selkie stays with him as a wife trying to find the skin he has locked up somewhere, until she finds it and escapes back to the sea abandoning her family).

I think the main character is meant to be exploring the idea that selkie stories were written by the families left behind when the mother has run off with no explanation. The title is meant to be read two ways: only "losers" (in the sardonic teenager-ese sense) are interested in these stories, but also that the stories are for those who have experienced the loss of a mother and are trying to emotionally grapple with it.

The author tried to keep a consistent voice for the narrator between descriptions of her life and descriptions of the folklore of selkies, but the transition always felt jarring to me, which took away a lot of the impact.

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