... which is not a word I would use for what's inside.
This is not to be read in one sitting. For the most part, the tales in this collection are upsetting, full of triggers, dark, squicky or all of the above, with some beauty thrown in for flavor. I found about half of the stories very interesting, immersible, though provoking; half I did not quite get; about a quarter were absolutely disgusting; maybe a tenth were just mind-blowing awesome. And almost none could be ascribed to just one or two of those categories.
I'm not totally sure of my rating, I don't know that I really liked experiencing these in a couple of days. But the independent shock value of each piece is really something.
- A light in Troy: Gutting. Specially because it's left there. But maybe for the same, a bit hopeful.
- 304 Adolf Hitler Strasse: Sickening. Take-that to slash too. Recursive. My brain hurts a bit.
- The Moby Clitoris of his beloved: first, WTF is that title (same as above, actually). It was... ick
- Lydia's Body: Well, that was uncomfortable *grimace* You can see it going wrong, and then it turns a 180 and goes worse.
- Urchins, While Swimming: It's Valente. Beautiful and bittersweet.
- The Other Amazon: Meta. A readers' wet dream.
- Orm the Beautiful: Jewels, dragons. No possible loss. But damn was it beautifully bittersweet.
- Automatic: grim
- Chewing Up the Innocent: The agony of the (creepy) artist and mid-life crisis. Little good can come out of it. And it is still oddly hopeful.
- Attar of Roses: Creepy like the smell of wilting flowers at cemeteries
- Clockmakers Requiem: I did not understand that one at all, but I liked the strange world it painted.
- Something in the Mermaid Way: AH! God!
- The Third Bear: That was pointlessly cruel.
- The First Female President: Well, talk about cruelty.
- There's no Light Between Floors: Sad and claustrophobic. Those that forget history and all that.
- Qubit Conflicts: I don't know that much about programing for this, but it IS heavily ironic.
- The Oracle Spoke: That's a terrifying concept.
- Moon Over Yodok: It doesn't say it, but, Oh, my God. She's the rabbit, and she made him her soup. So sad.
- I'll gnaw your bones, the Manticore said: Loved it, for the questions it raises, and for the departure from the all around dark cast.
- Transtexting Pose: Wait, what? Also, squick.
- The Taste of Wheat: Mystical, but ew!
- The Beacon: "Ant's life" and Armageddon and drastic changes in social mores. Awesome-sauce.
- The Ape's Wife: Nightmarish collection of might have beens and excellent exploration. Bonus point for putting me to search for "The thunder, perfect mind"
- Lost Soul: I admit I though it would go deeper. Still:
Are you surprised?” Bela said. “You ought not to be. Did you not know that every woman has a soul that belongs to her alone?