Shoggoths in Bloom

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Dick nominee, Bear is one of speculative fiction's most acclaimed, respected, and prolific authors.

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Many novelists translate badly to short form, but Hugo award-winner Bear Range of Ghosts loses none of her depth or emotional power in this anthology of fierce, lonely tales about sacrifice, bravery, and loss. Missteps her use of real historical figures in "Sonny Liston Takes the Fall" seems to imply that Muhammad Ali owed his career to another boxer s mystical sacrifice are rare.

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Bear at her best is magical, as in "The Girl Who Sang Rose Madder," in which a former rock star has to choose between death as an artist and immortality as an undead hack musician. Other standouts include the title story, about a black professor in the s who finds kinship with the Lovecraftian monsters he studies, and "The Cold Blacksmith," a bittersweet fairy tale about what it takes to mend a heart.

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As in her novels, Bear s world-building is absorbingly rich and strange, full of blue parrot cats, ruthless Mongol-ish princesses, and modern alleyways haunted by cockatrices and harpies, and adventurous readers will find her storytelling absolutely irresistible. We Have Always Died in the Castle.

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Post a Comment. My story recommendation for this week is " Shoggoths in Bloom " by Elizabeth Bear, a novelette first published in the March issue of Asimov's , and now available on-line here.


In the past five years, Elizabeth Bear has published fourteen novels and closing on fifty short stories. That would be impressive if she were writing crap, but to be able to write her award-caliber fiction at that pace is simply absurd.

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I only started reading her stuff last year, and I despair of ever catching up. As Cthulhu fans will know from the title, " Shoggoths in Bloom " is an homage to H. An earnest professor in the late 's studies great, amoeba-like shoggoths found off the coast of Maine and finds more than he bargained for.

I know it's sacrilegious, but to my reckoning there is far more of this sort of thing around than we really need. Yes, Lovecraft was ahead of his time, and still worth reading today despite his obvious flaws as a writer.

Aural Delights No 90 Elizabeth Bear

But if you are interested in his work, you can find it pretty easily; there is little need for today's authors to continue adding to the Cthulhu Mythos. I will forgive Elizabeth Bear in this case, however, for two reasons. First, " Shoggoths in Bloom " is such a beautifully crafted story that it would make for excellent reading even if you never heard of H. Second, Bear tells the story convincingly through the eyes of an educated African-American in the 's, who must silently endure being called "boy" by the ignorant locals, even as he reads with horror of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Germany.

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