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Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A.…

Dreams of Distant Shores (2016)

by Patricia A. McKillip

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Wonderful. I particularly liked the Medusa story. ( )
  mairesmith | Jan 26, 2018 |
Generally, I enjoy reading Patricia A. McKillip's work, and I enjoyed reading this book. My enjoyment was a bit up and down, though. I liked "Weird" well enough until the end, when it felt like it stopped more than ended. I just didn't connect with "Mer." So when I realized I was loving "The Gorgon in the Cupboard," I was a little anxious about its end: what if it disappointed me as well? (I needn't have worried.) I also liked "Something Rich and Strange," although not quite as much as "The Gorgon in the Cupboard." The remaining three stories were all right, but I'm already starting to forget them. At the end of the collection, McKillip has a short piece on "Writing High Fantasy," and I was interested to read about how she tries to meet the conventions of the fantasy genre while writing original stories. The afterword by Peter S. Beagle was fun to read: one good author honoring another. So, yes, a somewhat uneven collection, but I'm glad I read it. ( )
  Silvernfire | Sep 20, 2017 |
What can I say? It's Patricia A. McKillip. Any of us who know her abilities to create new worlds with just a few words is in for a wonderful surprise. Even though these are short stories, I still recommend setting aside time to read each one in its entirety. They are definitely not lunchtime reading material, as I found out!

The variety of stories here are good, though most are set in modern eras and several are set in small, seaside villages. One is set in an artist's garrett in London (perhaps?) and another in a mansion with a motor car. And a driver. But there is a Mer who was a goddess and traveled to the Americas; another explains the monster at the door to the bathroom as, well, something that must be explained. And the final story, "Something Rich and Strange", has a creepy story about who lives in the sea. Really lives, and has seen the whales and mollusks live and die. And go on dying. Its message is also as chilling.

Recommended for all of her fans, or those who are not ready for her journeys in her longer books. And for any who just love language for its own sake. ( )
  threadnsong | Apr 13, 2017 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads & Mobileread by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Dreams of Distant Shores
Series: ----------
Author: Patricia McKillip
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 290
Format: Digital Edition


A collection of short stories and a novella showcasing McKillip's writing style and preferred story content.

My Thoughts:

The majority of this book is taken up with the novella, Something Rich and Strange. I read that back in '05 and wasn't very impressed then and this time around nothing improved. That is the reason for the 1 Star deduction.

Now, the rest of the stories, they were excellent. They were what I EXPECT from McKillip. My favorite was about an artist who draws the Gorgon's mouth and it becomes his muse, until it convinces him to fall in love with a real life girl who then becomes his true muse. Not being an artsy guy myself, most of the time I poo-poo stories dealing with art. However, this story, appropriately entitled The Gorgon in the Cupboard, drew me in and made the artist character sympathetic enough that even I was able to like him. The counter-story about the woman who becomes his muse, is poignantly sad and heartwrenching and provides a sad canvas upon which a happy story is drawn.

The Forward by Peter Beagle I could have done without. I am not a fan of Beagle, so his musings on meeting McKillip at various times came across as self-serving and very faux-humble.

If I ever read this again, I'll just skip the novella and concentrate on the short stories.

★★★★☆ ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Mar 28, 2017 |
This contains five short stories, two novellas and a short essay "Writing High Fantasy".

I'd read both the novellas before, but they're McKillip at her best so I was happy to revisit them. I actually liked "Something Rich and Strange" more this time. Perhaps knowing where the story was heading meant I connected with it more easily. It’s still the poetry of the language which appeals to me the most, but not just because the story contains some lovely sentences. The way it captures the coastal community where Megan and Jonah live, their relationships with art and their relationships with the sea, is vivid and evocative.

"The Gorgon in the Cupboard" involves a painting who begins to talk - the gorgon in the cupboard - and inspires a young painter to paint Medusa. It’s a story about seeing - about seeing things as they really are. It’s beautifully written, quietly thought-provoking and hopeful. I loved it.

The short stories were all a little weird. My favourite was one called "Weird". A couple are sheltering in a bathroom and she tries to answer his question of “What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you?” ( )
  Herenya | Jan 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia A. McKillipprimary authorall editionscalculated
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dave, for so many reasons.
With thanks to Susan Allison, Jonathan Strahan, and Terrin Windling for inspiring, respectively, the Gorgon, the Crow, and the Sea Hare... And very special thanks to Jacob Weisman for keeping track of my work and putting it in order.
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A collection of short stories, within whose pages we "find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life, and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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