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Katherine Villyard
Author
Love Stories

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

What is love? What can love drive us to do? In these stories, love pushes us to revenge, to reach beyond the boundaries of life and death. To rescue a family member. To fight the good fight without even knowing it, or to risk everyone and everything to save someone who may or may not be worthy. To make the wrong decisions and walk into hell. To transcend who we are. Love can make us both the best and worst versions of ourselves Love Stories is a collection of seven previously published and five previously unpublished short stories.
Reviews
While Villyard has titled her collection of speculative fictions Love Stories, the theme that binds together these stories—which include elements of fantasy, fairy tale, myth, as well as science fiction—is deeply connected relationships, with the title challenging readers to think of them in the light of love. Villyard’s range, like that of the magazines she publishes in, ranges widely, from the fabulist to explorations of near- and far- future existence. One sharply told standout riffs on the darker side of an old fairy tale of two sisters: from the lips of one falls flowers and gemstones, from the other comes snakes and scorpions. The ending is a satisfying jolt.

Others explore, with wit and style, connections between technology and humans, and medical advances that allow people to wipe their minds or experience full body transplants. One science-fiction story in the classic mode turns on vastly different perspectives of an interaction between a human and an alien. While the mode, subjects, and lengths of Villyard’s stories vary, possibly too much for readers who prefer their genres fully differentiated, the collection offers a welcome reminder of the diversity of contemporary speculative fiction, while showcasing Villyard’s talent for character, memorable ideas, and surprises that reveal theme and complicate expectations.

Villyard’s more powerful stories tend to be those exploring a world and how its characters find deep connection to others. The stars of the collection are stories about consciousness itself, each enlivened by striking detail: there’s the A.I. Alan and its shared devotion with its human programmer, an author of “sexually explicit Horatio Hornblower fanfic.” Other marvels: an android posing as a human to get a job to help pay the bills of his cancer-struck owner, and the tale of Karen and Charlie delving into what it means to be a mind in a body that isn’t one’s own—and the consequences that aren’t spoken of.

Takeaway: Short stories of deep connections across the breadth of the speculative fiction genres.

Great for fans of: Sequoia Nagamatsu’s How High We Go in the Dark, Kate Folk’s Out There.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Kindle Edition Digital Ebook Purchas Details
  • B0BD6F1SHR
  • pages
  • $

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