Reviews and Comments


Joined 1 year, 3 months ago

Writer and software engineer in the US Midwest. I enjoy poetry, horror, some f/sf, some mystery, some literary fiction (but not the kind where the main character is a professor and nothing happens).

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Difficult and beautiful

5 stars

Disclaimer: The author is a friend of mine.

Proof of the Sun is a short chapbook of poems about the author’s experience of childhood sexual abuse. The writing is beautiful, though that seems odd to say given the subject matter. Ott tells her story with incisive honesty, expressing anger and pain, of course, but also finding hope and even humor in her experiences.

The Virgin Of The Seven Daggers Excursions Into Fantasy (2008, Penguin Books Ltd, Penguin Classic) 3 stars

Review of The Virgin of the Seven Daggers

3 stars

A collection of stories in the realm of the fantastic. Lee was a master of diversely sumptuous prose styles, though her pacing might be too leisurely for today’s taste. She had a sharp sense of irony, and a vivid and twisted imagination. The orientalism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia, all common in her time, spoil parts of these stories now.

Characters: A; Prose style: A-; Plotting: C

4 stars

A Shirley Jackson Award winner, so my response is probably idiosyncratic. The characters are bizarre, believable, and deep — some monstrous, some merely broken. The prose is good, outstanding in places. The plotting is manipulative. I think that’s meant to reflect the theme, but a better and deeper story could have been told with less misdirection. Probably most horror fans will rate this book higher than I do. (Since this platform doesn’t allow fractional points, I’m rounding up from 3.75.)