Strange Horizons Reviews, March 21-25

This week's Strange Horizons reviews kick off with one of the most talked-about books of the last few months, Jo Walton's Among Others, which charms reviewer Michael Levy by being as much about the experience of being a genre fan as a genre story itself.  Graham Sleight takes a look at the seemingly puzzling combination of Michael Moorcock and Doctor Who tie-in novels in Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles, and concludes that the groundbreaking author and the classic-but-revitalized TV series have a lot in common.  Today's review is of the anthology Sprawl, edited by Alisa Krasnostein, a collection of fantastic stories by Australian authors from Twelfth Planet Press that deeply impresses its reviewer, Dan Hartland.


Your Reader said…
I've been following your blog for a long time without commenting and, since you too like fantasy, wanted to recommend a book I loved: "Let Me In" by John Ajvide Lindqvist. (The Swedish movie is great too, albeit inferior to the book).

For a long time I hoped to find good dark fantasy, which would be psychologically realistic and present even the worst villains as full-fledged people. HP or Martin's SoIaF aren't dark (for me) and I wanted something deeper than King's novels. The only book of this kind I found is "Let Me In".

2 Amazon Reviews I liked:

"Let the Right One In" is a horror novel- people get their heads ripped off, pour acid on their faces, and get killed by vampires- but it is a lot more than that.
It follows a few groups of people living in a town of Blackberg, a suburb of Stockholm: the `main story' is about Oskar, a young boy who is constantly bullied at school, and who finds a companion in Eli, a young-looking vampire who lives next door with the pedophile Hakan. It is also about Tommy, a slightly older boy who lives in the same complex as Oskar, and who is dealing with his mother's relationship to Steffan, a police officer working on the `Ritual Murderer' case, and the story of Lacke, Larry, Morgan, and Jocke, a group of impoverished drunks who meet together at a Chinese restaurant to try to drink away their losses. All of these stories (as well as the stories of a few others) are interwoven, the actions of the people in one group will affect the others in both positive and negative ways as the book goes on.
In many ways the horror element, while unable to be missed and a vital element, is just the frame story for what is really going on. "Let the Right One In" is really a novel about friendship, companionship, love, society, youth culture, gender, and desperation. It chronicles what happens when these people and groups are pushed by circumstance into doing things they've never done before, and how the desire to connected with others is apart of everyone.


It takes a thoughtful look what being a vampire, even more, a kid vampire, will mean for your "life". This takes away all the glamour and brings in the filth and the disgusting truth.
We do not need vampires. There are enough real monsters right in our neighborhood. The vampire may be wiser and much less dangerous then all of them. But how are your chances that an immortal befriends you and sees need to protect you?
This is a story of the friendship of two children that start with more distance than any cultural difference could set.
This is a story of budding love. But not romantic. It doesn't need to be.

The only thing I disagree with is that it's a story of mutual love. In my analysis I explained why I see it as a story of seduction and grooming instead.

If you know Russian, Russian translation is superb, while I read critic of UK's (?).

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