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blackflower

So Many Books, So Little Time

I read everything. Unless it's not good.
At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories - Kij Johnson Just like every short story collection, some stories are great and some are not so great and some I don't get.

The ones I thought were great:

26 Monkeys, Also The Abyss (A woah WTF tale, but the more I think about it the more I like it.
Names for Water
Dia Chjerman's Tale
My Wife Reincarnated as a Solitaire etc. (This one grew on me. The Jane Austen-ness of it made me wary but once I got it, I got it.)
Wolf Trapping (Haunting and strange)
The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles (I read in another review that someone thought this story felt like a Studio Ghibli film. And I can totally see that. Reads like a modern fairy tale.)
At the Mouth of the River of Bees (Sad and beautiful.)
The Man Who Bridged the Mist

The ones I thought were okay:

Fox Magic
The Bitey Cat (I get it but I just shrugged when it was over.)
The Horse Raiders
Chenting, in the Land of the Dead
Ponies (I've read this before and found it ghoulishly entertaining, but when I read it this time, I found it kind of heavy handed and obvious. Yeah, it's a gut punch but it's a well walked path.)

The ones I didn't get:

Schrodinger's Cathouse (I GET it, because I'm a nerd, but I don't think it has the impact that the author wanted, at least not for me.)
The Empress Jingu Fishes (I found this very confusing. Which might have been the point?)
Story Kit (Also confusing.)
Spar (Just gross and I felt like there was some profound truth or something here that I was supposed to get but didn't.)

A lot of these stories are a lot like parables or fairy tales. I mean this in a good way. And even if I didn't like them THAT much I still felt they were entertaining. The author has a very interesting and absorbing way of writing. Unlike a lot of short story collections, I didn't skip a single story.