Patricia A. McKillip’s lyrical and deeply visceral DREAMS OF DISTANT SHORES fascinates and haunts

A trio for reviews for Patricia A. McKillip’s beautiful DREAMS OF DISTANT SHORES.

For SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, Tamara Saarinen lavishes the collection with praise.

Unified by the theme of supernatural events, these short stories (three previously unpublished) exude mystery and magic in their lyrical texts. The tales range in subject from a boy who was once a horse to a grandmother who hangs out with aliens (much to her family’s disbelief) to a frustrated artist who accepts Medusa’s help in pursuing art and his model. Previously published as a novella, “Something Rich and Strange” focuses on a couple seduced by ancient sea creatures; they must decide if their relationship is worth fighting for. The selections allude to sex but do not go into great detail. The book is reminiscent of Kelly Link’s PRETTY MONSTERS, which also provides a fascinating assortment of paranormal offerings. Young adults who like fantasy tales with strong female characters willing to save themselves and others will enjoy this volume. VERDICT This collection of fascinating and haunting tales that will linger with readers is a strong addition to short story and fantasy collections; hand to fans of Holly Black, Robin McKinley, and Donna Jo Napoli.

In her video, Kitty G. lauds the book.

Axie Barclay for MANHATTAN BOOK REVIEW loves the volume.

From a goddess imbued in the statue of a mermaid, to a young artist’s possession by his muse, these powerful stories are seductive and strange, a combination that makes for stories like no other. Monsters, witches, magic, and death coexist and intermingle with the everyday, with artists, sailors, and waitresses. Part fairy tale, part lucid dreams, these tales are elegant, beautiful, and heartbreakingly vivid. Reading one is like everything wonderful about a Patricia McKillip novel distilled into concise, precise bites.

Elegant and absorbing, her work never reads as stiff or formal, as some fantasy stories can lean toward, and the language, while beautiful, never loses the reader, but instead remains both lyrical and deeply visceral. There is nothing quite like the experience of reading a Patricia McKillip novel. Fans of her work will not be disappointed in this collection, and likewise new readers will find themselves enchanted.

For more info on DREAMS OF DISTANT SHORES, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Thomas Canty