The first collection of short fiction from a rising star whose stories have been anthologized in the first two volumes of the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series and nominated for many awards. Some of Samatar’s weird and tender fabulations spring from her life and her literary studies; some spring from the world, some from the void.
Praise for Sofia Samatar’s Books:
“The excerpt from Sofia Samatar’s compelling novel A Stranger in Olondria should be enough to make you run out and buy the book. Just don’t overlook her short ‘Selkie Stories Are for Losers,’ the best story about loss and love and selkies I’ve read in years.” —K. Tempest Bradford, NPR
“An imaginative, poetic, and dark meditation on how history gets made.” —Hello Beautiful
“Pleasantly startling and unexpected. Her prose is by turns sharp and sumptuous, and always perfectly controlled. . . . There are strains here too of Jane Austen and something wilder.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Like an alchemist, Sofia Samatar spins golden landscapes and dazzling sentences.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“Beauty, wonder, and a soaring paean to the power of story.”—Jason Heller, NPR
“Highly recommended.” —N. K. Jemisin, New York Times Book Review
Sofia Samatar is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Histories. She has written for the Guardian, Strange Horizons, and Clarkesworld, among others, and has won the John W. Campbell Award, the Crawford Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award. She lives in Virginia.
Samatar (The Winged Histories) collects 19 eerie short tales, all previously published, and a new novella, "Fallow," all set in times and climes a few disquieting steps around the corner from reality. Her title story employs tender's meaning of caregiver to comment darkly on the emotional fallout from the containment of radioactive waste. "Cities of Emerald, Cities of Gold" probes the "family deserts" of a half-American, half-Somali person in the context of Dorothy's final acceptance of "dusty Kansas." "Those" is a shattering look at interracial marriage and its consequences. Often using a tormented first-person storyteller persona from history or her contemporary experience, Sunatar blends luscious images with painful self-realization; occasionally the contrast between these two trademarks of her style causes complexity to lapse into incomprehensibility. The theme of this provocative collection, including the far-future dystopian vision of "Fallow," is most clearly evident in "A Girl Who Comes Out of a Chamber at Regular Intervals," a scalding too-near-future indictment of a culture rushing headlong to embrace the mixed contents of the Pandora's box of communication technology.