Recent Short Stories Reviewed

My Birdverse novelette “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) has had a very warm reception from readers and reviewers so far. Here are two samples:

Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews writes (read the full review here):

Well this is a long but very good story about self-determination, about transition, about making a choice. […] I loved the magic of the setting, the names holding power, because names and naming do have such power, because pronouns do have such power. That we at the same time have to be less invested in names that haven’t been chosen by the person bearing them. It’s a subtle story but a rich one with layers deep and moving. A complex and emotionally resonant story.

And from Tangent Online (read the full review here):

“Grandmother-nei-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” by Rose Lemberg is a superior fantasy. It is a deeply felt and well considered story with a Middle Eastern flair. It deals with gender roles but through the use of pronouns, not sex or physical types. Words are its most important theme—words used to describe and delimit our lives. It tells us that stories and words are the truths we tell to ourselves. […] The story is complex without being overly complicated, but it is the theme of language/words that flow through this story as its life-blood. […] the very language of gender association is explored with depth usually not found in a novelette. A rich and rewarding work that compares favorably with Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie in its depiction of fluid gender roles. This story is an accomplished work of rare insight.

I am very happy with these, and also with the readers’ response. Michele Bannister wrote,  for example, “I could almost taste the grit in the air and the texture of cloth-of-winds when reading it; masterful presence of place.” I cannot be more pleased that my Birdverse work is reaching its audience; I am thrilled where I am at the place, craftwise, where I am beginning to do justice to the complexity of my own secondary world.

My Queers Destroy Science Fiction! short story “How to Remember to Forget to Remember the Old War” (available for purchase at Lightspeed) has also been well-received. Lois Tilton at Locus Online seems to have enjoyed the story even though she was ambivalent about QDSF! as a whole (read the full review here):

The narrator is a damaged ex-soldier who seems to have once been minimally cyborged, but the military implants have been removed and the human remnant cast ashore. The narrator has flashbacks and breaks things, and manages to keep it all under control in the times and places where this matters.

[…] the narrator and other damaged war veterans are fully human, which is what makes them so different from those around them, who haven’t been where they have been, or seen and done what they have seen and done. We can recognize them in this effective work.

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Rose Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Tiptree, Elgin, Rhysling, and Crawford awards.

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