Tag Archives: Pat Murphy

Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers: Magical Tales of Love and Seduction
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Storm Constantine, Delia Sherman, Joyce Carol Oates, Tanith Lee, Edward Bryant, Garry Kilworth, Michael Swanwick, Elizabeth E. Wein, Pat Murphy, Ellen Steiber, Jane Yolen, Dave Smeds, Neil Gaiman, Doris Egan, Melissa Lee Shaw, Kelley Eskridge, Brian Stableford, Conrad Williams, Mark W. Tiedemann, Ellen Kushner, Wendy Froud & Bruce Glassco
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Lust, Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 6th January – 19th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: She abruptly saw herself as if from another’s eyes, toiling in dirty work clothes with the sharp blades, the mirror, the powdered remains.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Prepare to be seduced by powerful magic — the sorcery of lust, need, and sensuality. Multiple award-winners Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have gathered together twenty-two tales of unearthly temptations wickedly concocted by some of today’s most potent literary conjurers — including Neil Gaiman, Jan Yolen, Michael Swanwick, and Joyce Carol Oates. Here are stories of incubi and succubi, of forbidden fruits harvested in erotic gardens, of pleasures that persist beyond death. So heed the sirens’ song. Lie back, relax, and submit to the darkest delights you have ever experienced.

Thoughts

This collection isn’t quite toe curling, it isn’t quite horrific, but a nice mix between the two. It makes you think about the weirdness of sexuality. And the uniqueness of those things that go bump in the night. And thrive upon our sexual, deepest, darkest desires. I was honestly expecting this to be a little more of an uncomfortable read. However, mostly, I just found it intriguing.

This is a great collection of some very familiar authors, and some very new authors. It was a good way to depart from the realities of the world and be entertained by the imaginations of some very creative people. It wasn’t necessarily my favourite collection ever, the thread tying each of these tales together wasn’t as distinct as other collections. But it was a seriously enjoyable journey regardless.

This is definitely a collection that I’ll pick up again at some point in the future. It’s fun, light and easy. Also, there are a number of authors that I still need to hunt out books for… I enjoyed each and everyone of these stories.

<- ToadMy Lady of the Hearth ->

Image source: Goodreads

Attachments by Pat Murphy

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Attachments
Author: Pat Murphy
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Romance, Twisted romance
Dates read: 5th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: She laughed as she tossed a corner of the blanket over his face to hide his staring eyes.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

They’ve always been attached to one another. But that’s not truly how they want to be. Especially when one brother loves the others’ wife… things tend to get a bit awkward there…

Thoughts

I’ve always wanted a twin. Never wanted a conjoined twin though. That’s just WAY too much closeness. I really wasn’t expecting to find a story about conjoined twins in a collection about daemon lovers though. And, it does kind of make sense – it’s a collection of romances between those who are different. But it was still far less mystical than I was expecting.

There’s kind of a bit of an incestual feel to this story… two conjoined brothers marry two sisters. One falls in love with the other brother’s wife (who is also HIS wife’s sister). It’s kind of sweet in that whole forbidden love way… but also just incredibly complex and… yeah, incestual.

I did absolutely love the ending of this story though. There was just something about it that kind of worked… in a weird and unexpected way. It wasn’t the happily ever after that I was expecting, but it was a great ending nonetheless.

<- No Human Hands to TouchIn the Season of Rains ->

Image source: Goodreads

Alien Sex edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for alien sex book cover

Title: Alien Sex
Author: Ellen Datlow, Leigh Kennedy, Rick Wilber, Harlan Ellison, Scott Baker, Larry Niven, K.W. Jeter, Philip Jose Farmer, Lisa Tuttle, Bruce McAllister, Edward Bryant, Pat Cadigan, Geoff Ryman, Connie Willis, Richard Christian Matheson, Lewis Shiner, Roberta Lannes, James Tiptree, Jr., Michaela Roessner & Pat Murphy
In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Aliens, Science fiction, Short story collections
Dates read: 27th August – 29th December 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: ROC
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: The front row of pews was reserved for the faculty.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

In these 19 evocative pieces of short fiction, best-selling and award-winning writers tackle such intriguing issues as sex by telepathy, the pick-up scene on other planets, and making love with Superman. Thought-provoking, often shocking, always entertaining, Alien Sex daringly explores those barriers between men and women that can make them seem so “alien” to one another. Probing the current and future state, shape, and complex problems of the human male/female relationship, this fantastic collection will make you think about sex in a whole new way.

Thoughts

This is the single most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever read. Like wow uncomfortable. And not in bits and pieces. But pretty much every single story in this was uncomfortable. Not that that’s bad. But it’s very hard to read a book quickly when you know that things aren’t going to be, well, pleasant. Which makes it incredibly WOW to read. I suggest this to everyone who loves their science fiction.

This collection seriously makes you think about the world around you and how we perceive it. More importantly, it repeatedly makes you question sex, our approaches to sexuality and even how we deal with the opposite gender. And sometimes even questions of gender. By using these insane, far out storylines, it makes you seriously consider this aspect of our lives.

Sex is really weird. I don’t know that anyone can argue that it isn’t. Using science fiction and aliens just helps to highlight that fact. And kind of act as enlightenment for a number of my own practices and beliefs. Definitely an interesting collection…

<- The Marker ReviewHer Furry Face ->
Image source: Amazon

Love and Sex Among the Invertebrates by Pat Murphy

Overview
Image result for alien sex book cover

Title: Love and Sex Among the Invertebrates
Author: Pat Murphy
In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Insects
Dates read: 29th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: ROC
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: The warmth of sunlight will cause the creature to extend his sail and gather electrical energy to recharge his batteries.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Animal sex is entirely unique. But what if it’s the invertebrates which are the next evolutionary step? Not us humans?

Thoughts

At the end of the world, one scientist fights to create something that will last. It’s a nice idea, except for the fact that you know… she’s dying. And it’s a quite tragic ending to a very uncomfortable collection. But also a brilliant story. Though that might be because I have an obsession with bugs, and there is a lot of talking about weird animal sex.

I love that this story investigates evolution. There is such an assumption that we are the pinnacle of evolution and the end of the evolutionary train. But, that’s probably not actually the case. One day we’re likely to die out. In a pretty intense way, this short story questions those assumptions and makes you really think about the future. Which was awesome. And then I had to read something happy and light, because I don’t want to think about the world in that much depth.

This was a perfect story to end on for the Alien Sex collection. It was bittersweet and thoughtful. Still uncomfortable, but not one that leaves a really bad taste in your mouth at the end of it. Just one that is a intense.

 <- Picture Planes ReviewThe Beastly Bride Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Coyote Road edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Coyote Road
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Pat Murphy, Carolyn Dunn, Steve Berman, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Christopher Barzak, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Klages, Patricia A. McKillip, Theodora Goss, Charles de Lint, Katherine Vaz, Caroline Stevermer, Midori Snyder, Michael Cadnum, Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth E. Wein, Kim Antieau, Will Shetterly, Kelly Link, Holly Black, Carol Emshwiller, Jedediah Berry, Jeffrey Ford, Jane Yolen & Kij Johnson
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Short story collections, Tricksters
Dates read: 11th March – 24th October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: She handed me a message, one that read I was to be married to a stranger.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Coyote. Anansi. Brer Rabbit. Trickster characters have long been a staple of folk literature – and are a natural choice for the subject of the acclaimed Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s third “mythic” anthology. Twenty-six authors, including Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Charles de Lint (Little (Grrl) Lost), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow) and Jane Yolen, have crafted stories and poems drawing from cultures and traditions all over the world – each surprising, engrossing, and thought provoking. Terri Windling provides a comprehensive introduction to the trickster myths of the world, and the entire book is highlighted by the remarkable decorations of Charles Vess.

The Coyote Road, like its companions The Green Man (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and The Faery Reel (a World Fantasy Award Finalist), is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary fantastic fiction.

Thoughts

This collection took a long time to read. Yet, I absolutely adored it. Mostly it took a while to read because there were so many short stories filling the pages, and whenever I finished one, I often went searching for more stories by the authors I was discovering. My wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds since starting this collection.

Like many of the Ellen Datlow collections lining my shelves, the theme and collected authors in this are brilliant. Each and every story is perfectly curated to match into the theme of Tricksters. Often in surprising and confusing ways. After all, the prefect trickster never does what is expected, and many of the stories in this managed to take me by surprise.

I would suggest this collection to anybody who loves short stories, fantasy, mythology, tricksters… really I would just suggest it to almost anyone. There are sad stories and happy ones. Insanely complex tales and ones that are so beautifully simplistic. Definitely one of those collections that I’m going to read again and again.

 <- The Cinderella Game Anthology ReviewOne Odd Shoe Review ->
Image source: Amazon

One Odd Shoe by Pat Murphy

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: One Odd Shoe
Author: Pat Murphy
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Tricksters
Dates read: 5th March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: You’ll find small pools here and there.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

If there’s a shoe on the side of the road, it’s probably best not to pick it up… it could be Coyote teaching someone a lesson.

Thoughts

This was a really cute, funny story. I loved the narrator’s voice as it unfolds. There is a sense of wandering storytelling that isn’t common in a lot of other stories. It made me feel like I was being told the story by the woman in the story – sitting next to her as she told me about Mark, who really should have known better.

I’ve always loved tricksters – they’re equalisers and neither good nor bad. Any stories which have a grey area make me happy to be honest. And this short story epitomised the idea of equalising. Mark is obviously not the best person in the world, so Trickster decides to mess with him. And teach him a lesson. And show him how to be a little less not-good and a little more… better.

Now, every time I see a single shoe lying beside the edge of the road, I’m going to wonder about who is getting their comeuppance. And who is learning a new lesson.

 <- The Coyote Road ReviewCoyote Woman Review ->
Image source: Amazon