Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Amazon Reviews

4.0 out of 5 starsSomething different, some things new,

May 17, 2009


Josh More "Entropologist -"

- See all my reviews

When you pick up a book by a new author, you never know what you're going to get. However, those of us that read a lot get a feeling for what a book will be like. Looking at Finding Creatures, I expected a blending of Celtic and Native American mythology ("Aboriginal" if you're Canadian ;) In such collections you often find similar characters that all inhabit the same world, and each story follows a pattern of introduction, meeting the other, learning the other isn't so strange after all, oh wait, yes they are, but they're OK anyway.

I am pleased to say that this collection does not match the trope.

Each story is unique and special. Moreover, each is told in a slighly different way. In fact, were it not for a common thread, it would feel much like reading a collection by many authors. Wolf doesn't so much have a authorial voice as a subvocalization, which makes reading a collection very interesting.

The stories range throughout space and time, ignoring genre in favor of characterization and exploration. It is tempting to launch into a story-by-story analysis, but to do so would not do justice to the stories. So let me just say that the aliens are actually alien, not just humans-with-twist. The gods are god-like, with all that that historically implies. Humans, wherever they are, are still human with human concerns and flaws. The ideas may not be new, but many of them were fairly new to me.

If you want a collection for "more of the same" this is not the collection for you. However, if want an interesting exploration of place, culture and the people and ideas within, this is a good one to read. In the end, I'm glad that I gave it a try. I will certainly pick up the next collection.

5.0 out of 5 starsA Panorama of the human spirit,

April 20, 2009


David Finks (Northern California, USA) - See all my reviews

Finding Creatures and Other Stories is a tour of the human condition. Sometimes tongue in cheek, but always with insight, caring and grace. I was transported to each story and found myself immersed in the lives of the characters
A great first book; Wolf is a story teller extraordinaire. Can't wait for her next creation.

4.0 out of 5 stars A New Voice and Unique Stories,
March 31, 2009

What do aliens inside solid objects, a lonely girl and a horse, futuristic matchmakers, time machines, and archeologists have in common? The answer is that they're all featured in a new short story collection called Finding Creatures & Other Stories by talented writer, C. June Wolf.

In his introduction, Charles de Lint refers to Wolf's use of different voices and styles to tell her stories in the best way possible, and this variation gives the collection delicious unpredictability. Every story offers a unique setting, some in the future, others in contemporary time. Some characters are human, others are not.

At the beginning of each story, Wolf shares her inspiration for the piece or reflects on the setting or the psychology behind the story. The collection is so eclectic and multi-levelled that readers will likely have different interpretations for each piece. I especially liked the careful balance between real world and alien world stories. In one of my favourites, "Claude and the Henry Moores", she does both.

I don't read short story collections often, nor do I read enough speculative fiction, but it's great fun to immerse oneself in a compelling collection by an author the world hasn't yet discovered. Check out Finding Creatures and see which stories are your favourites. I'm guessing you'll find several.

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