Lord Stink and Other Stories
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in the Small Beer Chapbook Series.
Horizon · Locus
On the basis of Lord Stink and Other Stories
(Small Beer Press, chapbook, $5.00, 76 pages, ISBN unavailable),
Judith Berman is a skillful, passionate writer who proceeds
at her own measured pace to produce quality craftsmanship from
her workshop. Two stories here, the title piece and "Dream
of Rain" are mythic, fairytale-like fantasies that evoke
the best of Ursula Le Guin. The heretofore unpublished "Election
Day," by contrast, is a madcap Tim-Powersish romp involving
talking mirrors, reanimated corpses and a touchingly awkward,
nascent love affair. Finally, "The Window" moves into
Carol Emshwiller territory with its tale of an Earth overrun
by the Grubs, and how humanity fares as pets. Berman exhibits
a sure hand and a sharp imagination. Seeing more of her work
will be a pleasure, especially at possibly longer lengths.
Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's
"...should whet readers' appetites for
the author's upcoming novel from Ace, The Bear's Daughter"
"Judith Berman hasn't been very prolific.
These stories represent most of her output to date, to my knowledge,
but they are intriguing works, displaying considerable range
and a fine new voice."
Online (far down the page)
Dream of Rain
"Election Day" is new to this collection.
"Lord Stink" and "The Window" were published in Asimov's
and "Dream of Rain" was originally published in
Interzone. "The Window" was a runner-up for
the 1999 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and one of Locus's
Top Ten Stories of 1999.
Cover art by Shelley Jackson.
Who is Judith Berman?
which may tell you some more about her. Raised in the wilds of
Idaho, Berman is an anthropologist and now lives with her family
in Philadelphia, PA. Her first novel, Bear
Daughter, follows on from her story, "Lord Stink"
Her essay, "Science Fiction Without the Future,"
published in May 2001 in the New York Review of Science Fiction,
won the 2002 Pioneer Award for Best Critical Essay. Bruce
Sterling said it was "[P]robably the most important piece of science
fiction criticism in the last ten years." Berman published another
essay "Models of Time: Imagining the Future," in the New York
Review of Science Fiction (September 2002).
Berman read at KGB Bar in August of 2002 (pictures).