The Dreaming Kind

You should know by now that C. S. Friedman is one of my favorite SFF authors out there. So when I learned that she was releasing a collection of short stories, I knew I had to read it! It's been available in digital format since last spring, but you can now also get it in hard copy.

Here's the blurb:

Acclaimed Science Fiction and Fantasy author C. S. Friedman invites you to take eight journeys into the deliciously disturbing worlds of her imagination.

A bank clerk struggles to deal with malware inside his head…A woman is required by law to let her dying mother take over her body…A writer meets the man of her dreams (or perhaps her nightmares)…A time traveler seeks scalped tickets to the Sermon on the Mount…A telepath must abandon her humanity to negotiate with alien predators…A visiting extraterrestrial chooses a down-and-out junkie for its first human contact…

From humorous to dark, witty to lyrical, these stories showcase the versatile talent of one of the genre’s most creative writers. If you're not already a fan of C. S. Friedman, you soon will be. And if you're already a fan, you'll enjoy reading these rarely-seen shorter works.

What I loved the most about this collection is that it showcases the length and breadth of Friedman's imagination. The book is comprised of eleven short stories and poems, a couple of extracts from her novels In Conquest Born, This Virtual Night, and a poem she wrote for an RPG. Every piece comes with an intro or an afterword which provide context and other interesting tidbits. Given the fact that all of these stories were originally published in a variety of anthologies, it's the first time that fans can find them collected in one book. Some are recent and others date from the beginning of Friedman's career.

Although there are no specific themes linking these stories, all of them were quality reads. There is no filler material in this collection. The only one I was familiar with was the one Friedman wrote for the anthology I edited for Subterranean Press over a decade ago. I was aware that "Soul Mate" was solid, and was surprised that some of the other pieces were even better. Some stories are weird and quirky, while others are thought-provoking. All of them are compelling and well worth your time.

Apart from "Soul Mate," other favorites include "Downtime," "Terms of Engagement," "Eye of the Needle," and "The Dreaming Kind."

The final verdict: 8/10

You can download The Dreaming Kind: Short Stories and Fantasies by following these Amazon Associate links: Canada, USA, Europe.

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