In these unexpected tales, a body-hopping mercenary avenges his pet elephant, and an orphan falls in love with a sentient starship. Fighters ally to power a reality-bending engine, and a swamp-dwelling introvert tries to save the world―from her plague-casting former wife. So come meet Kameron Hurley in the future. The version she's created here is weirder―and far more hopeful―than you could ever imagine.
In her introduction, Hurley...admits that short stories aren’t her typical fare: her heart belongs to novels. And yet, she has produced one of the best story collections of the past few years. Hurley imagines brutal worlds, and her work is typically violent and vulgar. But as these stories make clear, her visions offer much more than shock value: these tales are emotionally powerful, lyrical, occasionally hopeful, and flirt with the profound. She creates worlds and characters as full and fascinating in a dozen pages as any she offers in her longer works ... What makes Hurley’s stories unique is her focus on what comes after: after war, after plague, after the collapse of civilization. These are stories that pack a punch. Highly recommended for existing fans and as an introduction for new readers.
The various fantastic milieus depicted by the short stories in this collection are fairly bleak ... Hurley makes poetry out of grim detail, shining a light on both the best and worst of humanity and squeezing what hope she can out of the whole mess ... Fans are sure to find interest in a prequel story to The Stars Are Legion...as well as the original story which Hurley expanded into The Light Brigade... Unfortunately, putting all of these stories in one place emphasizes the frequent reuse of the author's motifs and character types, partially undercutting their strength. Somewhat much of a muchness but very high quality.
With snapshots of futures that haunt, obsess, or tantalize, this collection from Hugo-winner Hurley ...offers 16 hard-edged pieces that gleam like gems in a mosaic ... Hurley works at the edges of genres, mixing SF with detective noir...military adventure ...in ways that refresh the motifs of the mixed fictions ... readers will eagerly follow Hurley into these possible worlds and many more.