Picture of author.

Kij Johnson

Author of The Fox Woman

41+ Works 3,012 Members 197 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: kij johnson

Image credit: Wikipedia user Jjkessel


Works by Kij Johnson

The Fox Woman (2000) 593 copies
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe (2016) — Author — 546 copies
Dragon's Honor (1996) 420 copies
Fudoki (2003) 398 copies
Ponies (2010) 83 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 (2014) — Editor — 73 copies
Mantis Wives 12 copies

Associated Works

The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (2007) — Contributor — 493 copies
The Secret History of Fantasy (2010) — Contributor — 196 copies
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 (2016) — Contributor — 160 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 145 copies
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Six (2012) — Contributor, some editions — 136 copies
Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction (2018) — Contributor — 123 copies
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five (2013) — Contributor — 118 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 115 copies
Eclipse 4: New Science Fiction and Fantasy (2011) — Contributor — 115 copies
Rath and Storm (1998) — Contributor — 111 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2009 (2009) — Contributor — 91 copies
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2012 Edition (2013) — Contributor — 71 copies
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2009 Edition (2010) — Contributor — 68 copies
Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top (2012) — Contributor — 67 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 65 copies
Body Shocks (2021) — Contributor — 55 copies
Girls Who Bite Back: Witches, Mutants, Slayers and Freaks (2004) — Contributor — 50 copies
The Humanity of Monsters (2015) — Contributor — 50 copies
Embracing The Dark (1991) — Contributor — 42 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 100 (January 2015) (2015) — Contributor — 38 copies
Clarkesworld: Year Six (2014) — Contributor — 37 copies
Edited By (2020) — Contributor — 37 copies
The Stories: Five Years of Original Fiction on tor.com (2013) — Contributor — 36 copies
Year's Best Fantasy 9 (2009) — Contributor — 33 copies
Conqueror Fantastic (2004) — Contributor — 33 copies
Clarkesworld: Year Four (2013) — Contributor — 25 copies
Asimov's Science Fiction: Vol. 17, No. 14 [December 1993] (1993) — Contributor — 15 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 071 (August 2012) (2012) — Author — 14 copies
Galaxy's Edge Magazine Issue 1, March 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 13 copies
Resnick's Menagerie (2012) — Introduction — 11 copies
Swashbuckling Editor Stories (1993) — Contributor — 10 copies
Come Join Us by the Fire: A Nightfire Anthology (2019) — Contributor — 8 copies
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 80 • January 2017 (2016) — Contributor — 8 copies
Clarkesworld Year Nine: Volume One (2018) — Contributor — 7 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 138 (March 2018) (2018) — Contributor — 7 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 037 (October 2009) (2009) — Contributor — 6 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 150 (March 2019) (2019) — Contributor — 5 copies
Emblèmes N° 6 Août 2002 : Extrême-Orient (2002) — Contributor — 5 copies
The Year's Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction (2009) — Author — 5 copies
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 117 • February 2020 (2020) — Author — 5 copies
Tor.com Publishing's 2017 Hugo Finalist Bundle (2017) — Contributor — 4 copies
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 116 (January 2020) (2020) — Contributor — 4 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 143 (August 2018) (2018) — Contributor — 3 copies
Bronies: For the Love of Ponies (2012) — Contributor — 3 copies
Apex Magazine 38 (July 2012) (2012) — Author — 3 copies
Cruciger {short story} (2008) — Narrator, some editions — 1 copy


animals (35) anthology (640) cats (44) collection (48) ebook (223) fairy tales (31) fantasy (987) fiction (582) folklore (29) goodreads (30) historical fantasy (25) historical fiction (40) horror (182) Japan (149) Kindle (96) kitsune (26) Lovecraftian (24) magazine (25) mythology (36) novel (24) novella (54) own (25) read (54) read in 2012 (25) science fiction (646) Science Fiction/Fantasy (29) sf (182) sff (106) short fiction (80) short stories (568) short story (41) speculative fiction (55) Star Trek (105) Star Trek: The Next Generation (50) stories (26) TNG (23) to-read (743) unread (102) wishlist (29) year's best (37)

Common Knowledge



This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Kij Johnson is a writer I don't know as well as I might like. That is to say, I read and enjoyed The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, and I think I have read some of her short fiction, but what I know of her makes me think I would like her a lot. So I was glad to get the opportunity to pick up a copy of The Privilege of the Happy Ending from Small Beer Press, which collects a bunch of her short fiction from the past decade.

Almost all the stories here focus on animals, and many of the stories use what we would recognize as postmodern or self-reflexive techniques. So, they may be a bit of an acquired taste for some readers—but for me, it is the kind of taste I have indeed acquired. I liked "Tool-Using Mimics," which offers a number of different explanations for a photograph of a girl with octopus tentacles; "Five Sphinxes and 56 Answers," which focuses on deconstructing the story of the sphinx as well as a young girl obsessed with the sphinx; and all three of the "Certain Lorebooks for Apartment Dwellers," which chronicle magical symbols, strange beasts, and bizarre dreams while also telling in brief snippets stories about relationships. I will say that Johnson has her go-to techniques in her stories, and for me this meant that when some concept or idea or trope turned up two times in rapid succession, it made me like the weaker implementation of it less than I might have had I read it in isolation. For example, I didn't really get into "Butterflies of Eastern Texas." The upside of a single-author collection is seeing how a writer develops a theme; the downside, I suppose, is that you might get tired of it.

There are only a couple stories I didn't get on with. "Coyote Invents the Land of the Dead" took me three tries to get through, and I never did figure out what was going on. "The Ghastly Spectre of Toad Hall" is a The Wind in the Willows sequel; I have only the vaguest memories of that book, which didn't help, but its anthropomorphic animals are an ill fit among the strange and uncanny animals of the rest of the collection. It might be good, but this is the wrong context for it.

I was glad for the chance to reread "The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe," and I found even more to enjoy in its depiction of middle age than I did the first time. Of all the stories in the book, this one engenders thoughts of a sequel: what would it be like for someone from a dreamworld to go on a quest in our world? But perhaps that's better left imagined. (This novella on its own makes the book good value for money; Tor.com sells it on its own for $15 in hard copy, but you can buy this whole collection for $17!) I particularly liked the volume's final story, "The Privilege of the Happy Ending," which is about a girl and her talking chicken trying to survive an infestation of weird, bizarre animals. As the title points out, it demonstrates how happy endings are privileges, by sometimes choosing to tell you what happens to side characters, and sometimes not. Not all stories have happy endings, but how happy an ending is depends on where you stop and who you care about.

So while I wish this was both a little less repetitive (surely Johnson has something to say about topics other than animals?) and a little more cohesive ("Toad Hall" is an odd fit, but to be honest, so is "Vellitt Boe"), it's a good way to be exposed to a master of the craft of short fiction. Most of the stories can be found online... but though you could do that, will you? Read them in this book. As for myself, I will be seeking out her earlier At the Mouth of the River of Bees now.
… (more)
Stevil2001 | 3 other reviews | Nov 5, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As always with short story collections - there are some stand out stories. However, all these stories are intriguing. The author, Kij Johnson, follows themes of being single - dealing with Boyfriends/Girlfriends, not connecting to other people. These stories are introspective, often short, with a theme repeating.

The two standout stories for me are the "Dream-Quest of Vallitt Boe" and "Coyote Invents the Land of the Dead". Both are about the lands that are only accessible at certain times, in Vallitt Boe, its by sleep, and in Coyote, its about death.

The writing is well done, but often oblique. I'm glad I read these stories, but at times, I felt that they were too moody, with not enough substance.
… (more)
TheDivineOomba | 3 other reviews | Oct 15, 2023 |
Kij Johnson gives us 18 stories, of which two are novellas, four of them are seven or fewer pages, and they all are good. Some were frightening or uncomfortable for me to read, others happier, but they all made me want to read more.

Her characters seem real, whether they are current-day people in ordinary places, or inhabitants of unknown planets. A student of astrophysics, a bridge builder, biologist, an empresses, some talking dogs, are all described in sparse but complete detail in ways that make me believe they really are what she says they are and act exactly the way I'd expect.

The title story follows a woman drawn to follow the course of a miles-long river of bees, one that closes roads as it flows over the landscape. And this magical occurrence is in Montana, where locals and even the highway patrol expect it to happen every once in a while and know how to deal with it.

In "Names for Water," a person's day, life story, and legacy is described in very few words, as she responds to a phone call that is, maybe, only background noise.

Most of these stories have been published in various places, and it's a real gift to come upon them all together in one book.
… (more)
mykl-s | 40 other reviews | Sep 11, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Kij Johnson's speculative fiction stories fit in those strange, liminal areas of our consciousness. They often feature real or imaginary animals and dreaming, and they are often very funny. This is a wonderful collection of s/m/l stories, including a fantastical bestiary for today's apartment dwellers and an entire novella, The Dream Quest of Vellit Boe. A great, imaginative writer.
KatyBee | 3 other reviews | Aug 29, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Cassandra Khaw Contributor
Kathleen Jennings Illustrator
Goñi Montes Cover artist
Michael Dirda Contributor
E. C. Myers Contributor
Gene Wolfe Contributor
Marge Simon Contributor
Andy Duncan Contributor
Cat Rambo Contributor
Megan Arkenberg Contributor
Ken Liu Contributor
Shira Lipkin Contributor
Nancy Kress Contributor
Aliette de Bodard Contributor
Neil Gaiman Contributor
Victo Ngai Cover artist
Michael Dringenberg Cover artist
Misumi Kazuyo Translator
Laura Gutmann Translator
Ryohei Hase Cover artist


Also by

Charts & Graphs