A quartet of glowing reviews for THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT.
From Lady Business:
The cover is by Julie Dillon, who is amazing and turned a great scene from the Spiritwalker books into a fantastic piece of art. The publishing industry should do like comics and have variant covers and hire Julie Dillon for all of them. That would be great for me. That fucking dragon. What an AWESOME dragon.
The Very Best of Kate Elliott is a pretty great collection of short fiction, with a disclaimer that I skipped multiple stories set inside her various series because I was terrified of spoilers.
There isn’t much in The Very Best of Kate Elliott that I didn’t love. I’ve never read anything by her before, but I plan on reading more of her work. I hope that it lives up to this “Best of” collection.
They’re Feminist without being preachy or completely excluding men or making them all antagonists. Most of the stories’ main characters are female, but there are a couple male narrators, which I found to be interesting and, in a way, refreshing. I love Feminist female authors, but they tend to write exclusively from a female point of view. While that’s perfectly fine, especially if that’s what they’re comfortable writing, I enjoy the attempt to get inside the head of a male character. Male authors have been doing that with female characters throughout the history of the novel, so why not?
The Very Best of Kate Elliott is a collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories as well as a handful of Elliot’s essays on writing, fantasy, and having compassion. Many of the stories in this book are haunting and tense, with deeply evocative characters.
This is a book I’d recommend to anyone interested in a fresh take on science fiction or fantasy, and if you’re a writer yourself, don’t skip the essays!
I haven’t read any of Elliott’s work before, so for me, this was a solid introduction to the scope and range of her writing. As such it was helpful that (where applicable) the stories were labelled with the series they belong to, to inform future selections. I imagine the reading experience would be different for someone already familiar with many of the worlds portrayed, but my overall sense was of well-developed worlds featuring a diverse bunch of characters. Elliott is clearly an author who writes with great awareness of diversity and identity issues, and it pays off in the breadth and authenticity of her characters and settings. The tales are set across a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds; there are main characters from across the whole spectrum of age; there is an underlying awareness of gender and sexuality and identity politics.
For more on THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Julie Dillon.
Design by Elizabeth Story.