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Ta da! I skipped this one after a couple of pages. I know my track record with stories of the ingenue daughters of the ruling class and their tired rebellions via fucking the staff. Yet another daughter of the ruling class fucking the staff, but I was charmed by said aristocratic daughter joining the army and trying to pass as a boy for much of the proceedings. The passing-as-a-boy trope is an odd thing in fiction, usually requiring the girl to be both more and less dumb than she is. Fascinating premise in a locked room environment which needs to be a longer fiction.

A set of conjoined twins, just regular physical freaks — work as a show on a dirigible for magical folk — vampires, werewolves, etc — because freak is freak, but not all freak is the same. A self-serving doctor seeks to separate the girls, throwing the girls into crisis. I loved that the girls have no interest in separation — their connection is fact not deformity — and I loved their relationship with The Lizard Man.

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I actively hated this story. Set in a steampunky Poland just after the Nazi occupation, it managed to get high and mighty about resisting the Nazis because resisting Nazis might interfere with the romantic bullshit of some teenage girl. Then Nazis try to take Zosia in for questioning. What the actual fuck? I get how love is dreamy and wonderful and all, but this kind of judgmental bullshit about how resisting Nazis is wrong because of love, man makes me want to die.

This story is stupid and childish and takes the easy way out in situations which are forever and decidedly less than easy. We two are as one…ahahahaha.

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Yet another daughter of the ruling class banging the help — someone who actually has an academic placement should write a paper about this phenomenon — but better than my dismissive opening would imply. This is one of those coded histories, with a transported London in a magical setting. I feel like with a lot of these stories there is way too much going on in the weird department.

Mixing werewolves, manticores, hard science, alternate history, and clockwork is way, way too much in a story 60 pages long or less, but this was cute and it functioned as a story. The only thing that made me itch was the way science was equated with mysticism. Snappy dialogue and narrative voice in a setting not usually seen in steampunkery. Omg, another good one. A young boy with dreams both nightmarish and juvenile meets a girl who might be a monster, and Lovecraftian hijinks ensue. Yet another daughter of the ruler class banging the help. Seriously, what is up with this? There is so much of this in this collection, and I am beginning seriously to wonder why it is that our romance lady avatars are all these high-born chickies who are discomforted by their status, and alleviate that discomfort by kissing the low-born?

Why am I even talking in terms like this? The fuck? And it deals with political violence in a way I think is deeply lame. Still though, what is going on here? This is incredibly beautiful, powerful, sad, wonderful stuff. My brilliant friend Georgeanna and next door neighbor — Lyndale neighborhood represent! Add in art from Maurice Sendak, and I am in hook, line and sinker.

I am a land-locked soul, which is funny, because if I have a soul, it resides somewhere on a rocky beach on the north shore of Lake Superior. Maybe this is why I freak out all day about selkie stories — freak out completely beyond the bounds. But she is a mermaid, not a selkie, and that works because selkie stories are usually massive bummers and this is not. I know from reading that if I am ever caught in an undertow, I am to swim at ninety degree angles against the pull, so that I may find myself in still waters.

I had this boyfriend once who loved him, and I hair-tossingly did not understand that love. I was young. Shut up.

by Shirley Muir

I associate him strongly with the WWII poetry that he is best known for:. Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life, I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose. I guess he was also a critic, but criticism has a faster expiration date than poetry even.

Sorry, no offense all of Goodreads. So a mermaid and a hunter find their strange love on a beach, and then they adopt a family of animals over the years: a bear, a lynx, a human boy. My mother used to say it on the boat. So the hunter said it and the mermaid and the lynx understood it, each in his own way — a little scrap of velvet between the forest and the sea.

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Omigod, do you see it? Do you see how this is everyday, happy and sad all in the same smooth movement? I think I may be done reviewing for now.

I go to freak out. I loved it like crazy.

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I took the kids to the zoo on Friday because sometime late Thursday, I discovered they had the day off and we were suddenly at loose ends. The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St Paul is an old school, Victorian zoo, a municipal pasture that was fenced in to hold three deer gifted to the city in The zoo has changed a lot since I was a kid.

Mum used to joke that you more or less pulled open a fridge to see the penguins, which continues to be true, but the polar bears recently got a multi-million dollar upgrade on their previous, frankly appalling enclosure.

Mermaid and Selkie join Kraken

Two black bears and a grizzly were visiting from someplace upstate that had been washed out by flooding. But I like how the Victorian bones of the zoological garden are still showing at Como, all this post-Civil War Age of Industry and Expansion, that drops a fence over a pasture and then calls it tame. My kids and I stood out in the weak November sun and watched sea lions circle their rocky tank. They were the only seasonal animals still out; the single desultory ostrich and his warm climate peers disappeared into basements or wherever they go when not on display — and the flash of the dark body, knifing silently through the water to nose up with the sound of breaking surface tension not a splash and then disappear again moves me in that enclosed way of all zoos.

They remind me more of dogs than anything, with their big brown eyes and doggy snouts, but I can feel the fur just under my skin, like I could strip off my hairlessness and dive in. Lord, but do selkies do it for me. Mermaids are a little different. The story starts with layers though — a broken Twain sought out for his story by an enigmatic woman, all shadows and cloaks, and then tells the tale lappingly, incidents building, reversing so that you apply new information to old assumptions, reimagine as you imagine.

The Hudson, like the Thames, is a tidal river, and it flows both ways depending on the moods of the tides.

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The mermaid — her name is unpronounceable, but translates to South — is both fishily sticky and voluptuously sexy. They enact their doom on the charcoal canvass of Industrial Revolution America, all smog and late evening. But it gets really tricky with creatures like mermaids. Siegel makes use of all the metaphorical possibilities of a steamer captain named Twain — so much so, that I occasionally laughed at how they were deployed. But I think I was supposed to in these little odd moments of levity.

I pretty much loved this story because I love inevitable tragedy — mermaid stories never end well — and doppelgangers, and Industrial Revolution America, and strange sublimated sexuality and doom. I love it like watching sea lions in an enclosure thousands of miles from the sea. Skip to content. Possible spoilers for the first book ahead. Watch your fingers. When we did a 20 minute section of the piece last year I had the main selkie puppet constructed enough for use, but she was far from finished, and I discovered some problems during that workshop. Amy holds the puppets head and controls the movement of one arm, but it is actually taking A LOT of arm and back strength to keep the puppet from slumping down.

Mermaid and Selkie join Kraken

I might reach out to a master designer in our area for some help. This way it will look more like a nude woman. It wants to fold in ways that make it look like fabric. Puppetry is full of problem solving. It was a total accident, and then I had to quickly figure out how to adjust that design. I came up with a design in which I inserted the neck dowel into the hosing that was the spine.

It was pretty cool figuring that out. I love it when a problem comes my way. My dad is an engineer so sometimes I run things by him; he loves problem solving too. But on more than one occasion, he has wanted to take the design in a completely different direction.