Utter Fabrication: Historical Accounts of Unusual Buildings and Structures is a collection of twenty-two light horror short stories published by Mad Scientist Journal. The stories run from flash to the upper end of short stories at 8000 words. Of the twenty-two authors twelve self-identify as women.
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The Refrigerator Monologues (Saga Press, 2017) by Catherynne Valente is a beautiful, but challenging, read. The difficulty is not in the writing, but rather in the content, as the narrative follows the women who have been part of a super hero’s life and died as a result of their romantic entanglements. While some of the individual stories are less brutal than others, the book as a whole is an excellent look of how women have been treated by comic book writers over the years.
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Cassilda’s Song (Chaosium, 2015), edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., contains 18 tales of the mythos of the King in Yellow, all written by female authors. These stories explore many facets of Cassilda, one of the characters from Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow collection of short stories. As Chambers’ stories and the purported apocryphal play revolve around madness induced by contact with the King in Yellow, so too do the stories in this anthology.
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Behind the Mask (Meerkat Press, 2017) is a collection of twenty super hero stories, but you won’t find a lot of knock-down, drag-out fights between heroes and villains in this anthology. Instead, Behind the Mask focuses on super heroes dealing with matters of everyday life, while still having powers, nemeses, and the myriad other issues with which super heroes are confronted.
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Never Now Always by Desirina Boskovich (Broken Eye Books, 2017) is a young adult novella that explores memory, time, and family. Lolo is one of the “rapt children,” young people who are studied by aliens known as the Caretakers. The Caretakers keep these children in their labs because they are interested in learning more about how humans process memories. During one of her memory sessions, Lolo recalls that she has a sister, and after that moment, she rebels against the Caretakers’ normal system in a desperate search for her missing sister.
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