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Daughter of two Cuban political exiles, M.C.A. Hogarth was born a foreigner in the American melting pot and has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things—-web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist—-but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise.
Her fiction has variously been recommended for a Nebula, a finalist for the Spectrum, placed on the secondary Tiptree reading list and chosen for two best-of anthologies; her art has appeared in RPGs, magazines and on book covers.
on March 23, 2014 :
This was more along the lines of what I was hoping for when I read The Case of the Poisoned House and Other Xenopsychiatric Studies. Whereas that collection was nice but ultimately unsatisfying, this felt like a full a complete offering. What can I say, vignettes just don't do it for me.
The word count is skimpy, but at least it's all devoted to a single story. In this case, Jahir and Vasiht'h have been hired to help Lieutenant Commander Nisia Baker, a Seersa who's in charge of the environmental control for an entire starbase. Unfortunately, she may be buckling under the pressure. She's having trouble staying motivated, and depression is setting in. Jahir and Vasiht'h are limited in what they can do for her, because, for security reasons, no one can know what her job is unless they have the proper clearance.
Jahir and Vasiht'h do almost none of the things they usually do when working with clients. Although they spend some time talking to Nisia in order to figure out what's bothering her, they don't use their dream therapy technique at all. Instead, they get creative. They manage to involve the entire starbase in Nisia's treatment and, at the same time, avoid revealing her job and responsibilities to anyone who's not supposed to know.
The way they did it seemed a little far-fetched – I'm not sure it'd be possible for something like that to work that quickly and effectively. Then again, who knows? People latch onto stuff that sounds good all the time. At any rate, it was a nice little holiday story – probably the closest thing to a Christmas story I'll read for a while, since I'm one of those people who burns out on Christmas quickly, due to it appearing everywhere earlier and earlier in the year.
While I still think Mindtouch is the best of the Jahir and Vasiht'h works I've read so far, this was still a good story. Also, unlike The Case of the Poisoned House (etc.), I think it could potentially work for newbies to Hogarth's Pelted Universe. It barely touches on information about the Pelted or Eldritch and, for the most part, doesn’t really need to.
(Originally posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Dec. 22, 2011 :
This is the second Winter Holiday story that MCA Hogarth has written, and where the first was a fairly predictable, fluffy, feel-good story (perfectly good when one is feeling frazzled by the holidays!), this is... Well, it has a happy ending, but the path to it is, for me, rather less predictable. And it's got the telepathic xeno-therapists this time, giving a richer sense of people and not just the setting.
It's the price of a (cheap!) hot chocolate, and is tasty, tasty cookies for the mind. Give yourself a present...
(reviewed within a week of purchase)