Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff

The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff
"-A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
-Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
-A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing--all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author's comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

So, are you curious now?"- summary from Amazon

I'd started reading this book like a year ago when it was first on Netgalley, but I had to put it aside to read other books. Then it got archived way too early and had to beg for a physical copy (which is HUGE). Then it kinda took me a while to read it, but one day, I just felt like reading some short stories and picked it back up again. I started at the beginning since it had been so long, but I did recognize a few of the stories.

Anyway, long story short- this is a fantastic collection and when you finish, you'll want to pick up all of their novels just to spend more time with their words and worlds. I'm not kidding you; after finishing, I seriously wanted to read a book from each of them. The collection had put me into a mood for their writing. I ended up not doing that though because I needed to read other things, but I plan on doing it soon (and hopefully by the time this posts, I'll have done it).

It was great seeing into their critiquing relationship and reading their thoughts on each other's writing as well as where their ideas came from. Each story is usually preceded by a little note from that story's author as well as another of the Merry Fates (though some only included a note from the story's author), and then there are notes in the margins (generally of the "I love this line" or snarky variety) throughout the story. It was fascinating to read these and get a glimpse into their writing process and the art of the short story.

Occasionally sprinkled throughout are asides, like "What to Expect from a Story" and a section on their critiquing process. I wish there had been more of these, and hopefully there will be in their second collection, out in Fall 2014!

Seriously, this is a fantastic book about writing and critiquing, and has many wonderful short stories. I highly recommend it.

FTC: Received hardcover from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't even know that this book existed, and now I feel terrible because it looks and sounds beyond amazing. I'm happy you liked it!
    Now I have to go get myself a copy. :-)