Bookstore trip and short fiction readathon

What do booksellers do on their day off? They go visit a different bookstore, duh. Yesterday, two of my fellow book slingers and I went to Second Story Books, a used bookstore in Dupont Circle. To my shame, I had never been there until our trip. At this fine bookselling establishment I saw a giant poster of Lenin (for sale) and picked up two books. ONLY TWO. I honestly don’t know what was wrong with me (besides abject poverty, which also prevented me from purchasing the aforementioned likeness of the long-dead-but-not-yet-buried Soviet leader). Here’s the photo of my loot:

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I was very excited to find Theodora Goss, and I had no idea this novel by Tiptree even existed. One of the booksellers at the store also told me that at one point Tiptree lived just a few blocks away (probably when she was getting her degree either from American or George Washington).

In other news, short story reading proceeds apace. I finished the mammoth Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Of The Year, Volume 6, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Mr Strahan and I seem to have similar tastes in short stories, so I will definitely be reading his other anthologies. This collection included quite a few stories that I would simply classify as ‘strange’, rather than as ‘fantasy’ or ‘science fiction’. Here’s the table of contents with a list of my favorites:

0817141305Neil Gaiman, The Case of Death and Honey

Caitlin R. Kiernan, Tidal Forces

Catherynne Valente, White Lines On A Green Field (I really like Valente’s shorter works than her novels, same with Gaiman)

An Owomoyela, All That Touches The Air

Paul McAuley, The Choice

Dylan Horrocks, Steam Girl

Peter S. Beagle, Underbridge

Robert Shearman, Restoration

Libba Bray, The Last Ride Of The Glory Girls

Nnedi Okorafor, The Book of Phoenix (Excerpted from the Great Book)

Kij Johnson, The Man Who Bridged The Mist

K. J. Parker’s A Small Price To Pay For A Birdsong was also excellent, but while I can objectively say that her stories are well-done, I get no emotional punch from them at all. They are sort of like brilliantly executed, yet not expressive, piano pieces.

And Ellen Klages’s Goodnight Moons made me cry. Avoid reading this one in public, particularly if you have a small child.

I’m continuing my short fiction reading with The Year’s Best Science Fiction, 28th Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois (I’m basically going by what I have at home). This one looks like it contains stories that could be confidently labeled as ‘science fiction’, which means I will probably get a bit tired of it and have to switch to a different collection. It’s just pure luck that I have In The Forest Of Forgetting by Theodora Goss now…

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