Scenting the Dark

Mary Robinette Kowal

Published by Subterranean, 2009
ISBN 10: 1596062673 / ISBN 13: 9781596062672
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Synopsis: These things await you: Love and hope in the aftermath of a very personal environmental apocalypse. Fear that comes in being trapped in your own body, enslaved by your own faulty synapses. Dread in a cure that works in unexpected ways. Discovery of what you've always known, but couldn't face, about your own lover.

Explore these and more in the seven beautiful, wounded landscapes of Scenting the Dark, the first collection from Campbell Award-winner Mary Robinette Kowal. Her lean, vigorous style has been satisfying readers since 2006, including multiple appearances in Year's Best lists. The stories here lay bare the ways we try to prevent, contain and repair the damaged world around us, the further harm we can cause by trying, and why every moment of joyous, defiant struggle is worth it--if you have love enough, and hope.

From Booklist: Kowal is primarily a puppeteer, and the sweetness so much puppetry conjures flavors her writing. And not just in “This Little Pig” and “Jaiden’s Weaver,” which would fit cozily into any good YA sf collection. The first, set in a near-future Iceland that has virtually banned fossil fuels, features a 17-year-old whose fondest dream, to drive a classic 1950s MG-TD, propels him into the workforce, where he meets with humiliation but also hope. A 13-year-old girl who cares not for horses but for “teddy bear spiders”—an endearing species that grows to ridable size on the Earth-colonized planet New Oregon—is the focus of “Jaiden’s Weaver,” an endearing kid-and-critter exercise. Less YA friendly, “Some Other Day” resolves as warmly as those two, though what is resolved is very dire, indeed. In the remaining five, a dollop of acid sours any sweetness, either, as in the tense title story, immediately; as in “Just Right,” terminally; or, as in “Portrait of Ari,” just beyond the story’s last word. Lucid and engaging work from a probable rising star. --Ray Olson

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Title: Scenting the Dark
Publisher: Subterranean
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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