The LED bug kicks feebly, trying to push itself away from the wall. Its wings are rounds of mica, and the hole in its carapace where someone has tacked it to the graying boards reveals cogs and gears, almost microscopic in their dimension. The light from its underside is the cobalt of distress.
It flutters there, sputtering out blue luminescence, caught between earth and air, between creature life and robot existence. Does it believe itself insect or mechanism? How can it be both at once?
I always get excited when I see Cat Rambo’s name in a table of contents because I know I’m in for a good ride. Not only does “Worm Within” live up to that expectation, it is seriously disturbing. Go read it and see if I’m right.
Cat Rambo had this on her site and, you know, I’ve longed for just this sort of thing.
I know very little about some of the people on my friends list. Some people I know relatively well. (Some I know too well. You know who you are.) I read your journals, or we have something else in common and we chat occasionally. Some of you I hardly know at all. Perhaps you lurk, for whatever reason. But you friended me and I thank you for your interest in my words.
But here’s a thought: why not take this opportunity to tell me a little something about yourself. Any old thing at all. Just so the next time I see your name I can say: “Ah, there’s so and so…they listen in rapture to the love-music of she-turnips.” I might feel compelled to mock your musical taste, but I’ll certainly remember you.
I’d love it if every single person who friended me would do this. Yes, even you people who I know really well. Then post this in your own journal and see what gems of knowledge appear.
I just finished reading The Surgeon’s Tale and Other Stories by Cat Rambo and Jeff Vandermeer. I gotta tell you, this slim volume of tales had me on every page. The title story, a collaboration between the two authors, owes its roots to Poe and Shelley; it’s like a literary fairy tale take on Frankenstein. Everytime you think you know which dark path the story is going to turn down, it spins down another one that’s even darker. It alone would be worth the price of admission.
“The Farmer’s Cat,” by Mr. Vandermeer, though set in Norway, reminds me fondly of Iceland. The way the farmer-protagonist handles his troll infestation is that I can imagine some of my co-workers doing.
Also of note is “A Key Decides its Destiny” by Ms. Rambo. My heavens. This is the sort of story that turned me on to adult fairy tales in the first place. It feels like a much older tale and something that would have found its way into the Datlow & Windling fairy tale anthologies if they were still compiling them.
I’ve just mentioned half the stories in the anthology, any one of which would be worth picking it up for. There are three more stories every bit as good.
Not only that, but it’s pretty too, with interior illustrations by Kris Dikeman and a cover by James A. Owen. Definitely think about picking up a copy. The Surgeon’s Tale is so slender, it would make a lovely stocking stuffer for the reader on your list.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]