Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Childe Phoenix" again--

Illustration by Galen Dara
SF Signal has reviewed Lightspeed 33. Here's a consideration of my story from that issue. You may read the entire review here.
Prolegomenon to the Adventures of Chílde Phoenix”                            by Marly Youmans http://www.sfsignal.com/mt-static/images/stars4p5.gif
A coming of age story, a metamorphosis, the remembrances of a young boy now deemed a man wrapped in the imagery of familiar childhood folklore and fairy tales.  Youman’s language is often lyrical in its beauty, conjuring up fantastic images.   Blaise’s sister Vesta lays in a glass coffin inset into the floor. His loving mother is either very much present with him or absent and cannot be found. His father is an alchemist who will not allow his presence to be disturbed.  His grandmother tells dark, black tales from the Old World.  Without the presence of other children in his life Blaise feels very much alone, his only playmates the books in the house’s wondrous library.  Blaise’s recollections are underpinned with melancholy and a miasma that takes the form of an abyss that is slowly tearing his home apart.  This was my first experience with the work of Marly Youmans and I look forward to tracking down more of her work.
One thing I really like about playing in the sandbox with speculative fiction writers is that a story that does not quite "fit" in categories--like an odd, surreal piece--is welcomed and is reviewed more than once. There's a huge, enthusiastic support for the form of the short story that's lacking in the "literary" world.

4 comments:

  1. I am happy to see your work getting the appreciation it deserves! Hope this continues and spreads.

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  2. Seconding Robbie's words...

    And noting Mole's prefect observations on Thaliad!

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  3. Thanks! I appreciate it.

    Shall link to Mole on Monday, when there are more passers-by, usually.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.