Portable Childhoods offers a tantalizing glimpse of what lies hidden just beyond the ordinary. Described by reviewers as timeless, delightful, chilling, and beautiful, this is short fiction at its best, emerging from a distinctive, powerful voice. The collection includes the Nebula Awardwinning novelette Basement Magic.”
Brand: Tachyon Publications
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sixteen tales of varying length. Some are two pages long. Some are twenty-eight. Realistic sometimes, and sometimes deeply magical. In her Afterword, Klages says it best when she mentions that, "My stories have been described as fantasy, dark fantasy, science fiction, not science fiction, children's, mainstream, and/or horror. (Often in different reviews of the same story)." More telling is her final sentence, "Many of my stories appear to have happy endings." Appearances being, as they are, deceiving, the tales found in this book can be hopeless and heartless one moment and then bounce back with something that "appears" to be cheerful the next. With an Introduction from fellow adult/children's author Neil Gaiman, the book's stories last just as long as they need to, never overstaying their welcome or bringing you up too short, too soon. Their connections demand a little more work.
The mix of fantasy, sci-fi, and realistic fiction is seamless here. It's all the...
Just finished reading Portable Childhoods and I am very sorry I couldn't make it last longer. There is other information here to give you an idea of the subject matter and what the stories are about, but what isn't noted is the tenderness (not in a sentimental or 'twee' manner) of observation that is present. Different stories moved me in different ways; none of them left me untouched. Very rich reading (that actually I made myself spread over several days to make it last).
The stories and the charactors are memorable, often dealing with the complex mix of the desire to protect and at the same time allow independent growth in a relationship (between parent and child, lovers, past and future). This makes it sound stodgy - it's not - there is plenty of Magic, people find fairies or turn into tropical fish or time travel or.....maybe you should just find out for yourself.
I hope I don't have long to wait for her next collection.
You know when you look at a case of petit fours and they're so elegant and perfect that you almost feel guilty eating them? The stories in Portable Childhoods were so delicious that I found I was pacing myself so I wouldn't finish too soon.
Petit fours, though, aren't quite the perfect metaphor in this case. The stories are wonderful confections, but they're not saccharine. Perhaps a better comparison would be to those brightly inked images on the pages of illuminated manuscripts--small, intense, beautiful.
I've already given away two copies....
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