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on Nov. 05, 2012 :
Every once in a while an author will create an image so compelling that my mind returns to it again and again. It is a symbol that speaks to my subconscious in such a powerful way I’m compelled to analyze its meaning on many levels. Anderson has done it twice in this anthology.
In Consuming Fear, a little girl has a black hole in her stomach. The metaphor so perfectly encapsulates a certain kind of experience that I think it should be required reading for students of psychology. It doesn’t just describe the feeling, but gives the reader a taste of what that feeling must be like. It’s Only Words paints a vivid picture of how we use words and the things those words might do once we unleash them. Every time I reflect on the story, I see another facet of meaning that I hadn’t noticed before.
And I’ve got to say that Amuse-Bouche is the creepiest thing I’ve read in a long time. It seems innocuous until you get to the very end…then you have to read it again from a completely different perspective.
Two themes running through all of Anderson’s stories are consequences and transformation. She shows us how we transform the world and people around us, and how they transform us. The stories don’t just entertain; they provoke. There’s a wide range of types of stories, and readers who enjoy some will probably not enjoy others as much. Personally, I’m not a fan of cyber-punk, so those didn’t have much appeal for me. One thing that I did particularly enjoy, though, is her take on mythology and folklore. Familiar tales take on new meaning, told from her point of view.
Embers Amongst the Fallen is an eclectic mix of stories, with plenty for everyone to enjoy. I highly recommend it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)