These twenty-two short stories are measured out with a cup of normal and a pound of the fantastic. From dark fairytales to alien skies, Monk's stories blend haunting yesterdays, forgotten todays and twisted tomorrows wherein: ...A normal little girl in a city made of gears, takes on the world to save a toy.... ...A normal ancient monster living in Seattle, must decide if love is worth trusting a hero... ...A normal patchwork woman and her two-headed boyfriend stitch their life and farm together with needle, thread, and time... ...a normal vampire in a knitting shop must face sun-drenched secrets... ...a normal snow creature's wish changes a mad man's life... ...a normal man breaks reality with a hamster... ...and yes, a normal little robot, defines how extraordinary friendship can be. Poignant, bittersweet, frightening, and funny, these stories pour out worlds that are both lovely and odd, darkly strange and tantalizingly familiar, where no matter how fantastic the setting or situation, love, freedom, and hope find a way to take root and thrive.
Urban fantasist Monk (Magic on the Storm) has collected a delicious sampling of her short fiction, including four stories original to this volume. In "Dusi," the gorgon Medusa has survived into modern times, making her living selling remarkably detailed wildlife statuary and longing for love. In "That Saturday," a little girl steals a neighbor's supernaturally endowed lawn ornament. In "Ducks in a Row," a story that feels like early Bradbury (but perhaps with more teeth), a child abuse survivor gives a cheating carnival operator his comeuppance. In "Here After Life" a man in spirit form joins four younger versions of himself outside the hospital where he is presumably dying. Featuring quirky, well-developed protagonists whose decisions have significant moral consequences, these stories also show a strong sense of place. Sometimes funny, sometimes dark, often both, they are varied in form and invariably rewarding. \n