August was Fringe month, which meant that next to no writing got done, and any reading was going to be…bitty. Having said that I did manage a fair amount, and much of it was good.
Some of it was better than good, though. Way better. A while back I enjoyed Amal El Mohtar’s short story, The Green Book, so I was excited to hear that she had a full length work out, in print from Papaveria Press and in e-format from Cheeky Frawg. Called The Honey Month, the book comprises tasting notes for 28 flavours of honey, each sampled on a day of the month in question. What follows is a short story or poem evoked by the flavour of that day’s honey. The concept and execution are wonderfully imaginative, the stories sharp and dreamlike in a fairytalish kind of way, and I have to say the writing is some of the most beautiful I’ve read in years. Reading the honey month has been a genuinely rare experience – an actual, bone fide, joy.
Interzone #241 had lots to enjoy, but the standout pieces for me were The Ship’s Brother by Aliette de Bodard and One Day In Time City by David Ira Cleary. The Bodard was a continuation of her Ships series, and on this occasion I found the story of the natural and neglected sibling of a ship mind particularly poignant. The Cleary story was, let’s be honest, bonkers but in a good way. One of those fantasy ideas that gets pushed gleefully beyond the limits of naturalism, almost intentionally testing the willing suspension of disbelief, but still somehow making story sense. Really good fun.
And the Sunday Story Society offering this time round was Atlantic City by Kevin Barry, a beautifully written snapshot of one night in a small Irish town that nevertheless didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
As always, Sunday Story Society is open for anyone to join in the fun.