Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women

Omnium Gatherum. Sept. 2020. 231p. ed. by Lee Murray & Geneve Flynn. ISBN 9781949054279. pap. $13.99. HORROR
As author Alma Katsu notes in the introduction, Asian women, despite being from vastly different cultures, are stereotyped as a monolith: demure and subservient, sexually fetishized, or cold and domineering. But not here, not at all, as readers are presented with 14 stories that are as varied in tone and type as the women writing them. Tales range from dangerous sf, bleak near-future dystopias, reimagined folktales, battle-ready princesses, and straight-up furious horror. While the stories are individually entertaining, it is in the breadth of cultural experiences, storytelling styles, and originality of ideas as they pile on top of one another where the magic lies.
VERDICT The preconceived notions of both the authors’ identities and of the limitations of the horror genre itself will be smashed to pieces, to the delight of readers. With the inclusion of biographies and photographs introducing each of the contributors, readers will gain a full appreciation of the authors, obtain insight into their influences, and learn of their other works. Do not be surprised if readers request more works by these unquiet women.
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