“An alchemical mix of Borges, Raymond Chandler and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”—Salon.com (Best of the Year)
“A delightful collection.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“My favorite fantasy writer.”—Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered
"Link's stories defy explanation, or at least, brief summary, instead working on the plane between dream and cognitive dissonance. They are true to themselves: witty, beautiful, funny, and startling."—Rain Taxi
"Link uses the nonsensical to illuminate truth, blurring the distinctions between the mundane and the fantastic to tease out the underlying meanings of modern life."—Booklist
"The 11 fantasies in this first collection from rising star Link are so quirky and exuberantly imagined that one is easily distracted from their surprisingly serious underpinnings of private pain and emotional estrangement."
Kelly Link's collection of stories, Stranger Things Happen, really scores.
—Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Magazine
"A tremendously appealing book, and lovers of short fiction should fall over themselves getting out the door to find a copy."
—Washington Post Book World
"Stylistic pyrotechnics light up a bizarre but emotionally truthful landscape. Link's a writer to watch."
"A set of stories that are by turns dazzling, funny, scary, and sexy, but only when they're not all of these at once. Kelly Link has strangeness, charm and spin to spare. Writers better than this don't happen."
—Karen Joy Fowler
"Kelly Link is probably the best short story writer currently out there, in any genre or none. She puts one word after another and makes real magic with them-funny, moving, tender, brave and dangerous. She is unique, and should be declared a national treasure, and possibly surrounded at all times by a cordon of armed marines."
"Kelly Link is the exact best and strangest and funniest short story writer on earth that you have never heard of at the exact moment you are reading these words and making them slightly inexact. Now pay for the book."
The eleven stories in Kelly Link’s debut collection are funny, spooky, and smart. They all have happy endings. They were all especially written for you. A Best of the Year pick from Salon.com, Locus, The Village Voice, and San Francisco Chronicle. Includes Nebula, World Fantasy, and Tiptree award-winning stories.
Kelly Link is the author of three collections of short fiction Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. Her short stories have won three Nebula, a Hugo, and a World Fantasy Award. She was born in Miami, Florida, and once won a free trip around the world by answering the question “Why do you want to go through the world?” (”Because you can’t go through it.”)
Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press, co-edit the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and play ping-pong. In 1996 they startd the occasional zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.
The 11 fantasies in this first collection from rising star Link are so quirky and exuberantly imagined that one is easily distracted from their surprisingly serious underpinnings of private pain and emotional estrangement. In "Water Off a Black Dog's Back," a na ve young man who has never known personal loss finds that the only way he can curry favor with his lover's physically afflicted family is to suffer a bizarre amputation. The protagonist in "Travels with the Snow Queen" reconsiders her fairy-tale romance when she deconstructs the clich s of traditional fairy tales and realizes that their heroines inevitably sacrifice and suffer much more than their heroes do. Link favors impersonal and potentially off-putting postmodern narrative approaches, but draws readers to the emotional core of her stories through vulnerable but brave characters who cope gamely with all the strangeness the world can throw their way. In the book's most effective tale, "Vanishing Act," a young girl's efforts to magically reunite herself with her distant family by withdrawing from the world around her poignantly calls attention to the spiritual vacancies and absence of affection in the family she stays with. "The Specialist's Hat" features twin sisters whose morbid obsessions seems due as much to their father's parental neglect as their mother's death. Although a few of the selections seem little more than awkward freshman exercises in the absurd, the best shed a warm, weird light on their worlds, illuminating fresh perspectives and fantastic possibilities. FYI:"The Specialist's Hat" won a World Fantasy Award in 1999.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Weird and Wonderful
Prepare to be altered. A book from which I have still not returned.