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Victor LaValle

Author of The Ballad of Black Tom

45+ Works 5,998 Members 336 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Victor D. LaValle is an assistant professor in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Image credit: Victor LaValle


Works by Victor LaValle

The Ballad of Black Tom (2016) 1,548 copies
The Changeling (2017) — Author, Narrator — 1,330 copies
Lone Women (2023) 691 copies
Big Machine: A Novel (2009) 666 copies
The Devil in Silver (2012) 626 copies
The Ecstatic (2002) 196 copies
Victor LaValle's Destroyer (1) (2018) — Author — 147 copies
Slapboxing with Jesus (1999) 97 copies
Lucretia and the Kroons (2012) 60 copies
We Travel the Spaceways (2021) 55 copies
Eve (2022) — Writer, co-creator — 23 copies
Sabretooth: The Adversary (2022) — Author — 12 copies
Destroyer #1 (2017) 12 copies

Associated Works

The Sundial (1958) — Foreword, some editions — 751 copies
xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths (2013) — Contributor — 276 copies
The Best American Essays 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 227 copies
Lit Riffs (2004) — Contributor — 167 copies
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013) — Contributor — 146 copies
Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing (2002) — Contributor — 125 copies
Granta 110: Sex (2010) — Contributor — 124 copies
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 (2020) — Contributor — 112 copies
The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic (2020) — Contributor — 109 copies
The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (2020) — Contributor — 108 copies
Full Frontal Fiction: The Best of Nerve.com (2000) — Contributor — 72 copies
The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books (2011) — Contributor — 64 copies
Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors (2020) — Contributor — 58 copies
The Darker Mask : Heroes from the Shadows [Anthology] (2008) — Contributor — 57 copies
Lovecraft Mythos: New & Classic Collection (2020) — Contributor — 42 copies
Weird Tales: 100 Years of Weird (2023) — Contributor — 41 copies
Do Me: Sex Tales from Tin House (2007) — Contributor — 38 copies
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017 Edition (2017) — Contributor — 26 copies
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Volume Two (2021) — Contributor — 18 copies
The Tor.com Sampler (2016) — Contributor — 11 copies
Come Join Us by the Fire: A Nightfire Anthology (2019) — Contributor — 8 copies
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 117 • February 2020 (2020) — Author — 5 copies
Tor.com Publishing's 2017 Hugo Finalist Bundle (2017) — Contributor — 4 copies
Chiral Mad 5 — Contributor — 1 copy


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Common Knowledge



Big Machine by Victor LaValle in African/African American Literature (February 2013)


So I’ve put off writing this review in hopes of being able to better convey my opinion of this book. Alas! It seems I will continue to have mixed feelings about it. I apologize in advance if this review is muddied and unclear.

The story was…different. I find myself conflicted with different emotions. There were some events that occurred in the middle of the story that had me completely turned off for a little bit. I wont spoil it for those who might be interested in reading this book, but I will warn that it is not for the faint of heart; it is a fairy tale of Grimm Brothers caliber. There are some horror elements and a cautionary tail to be heard for the modern day parent..

From the title alone you should be able to extrapolate that the story is folklore based. This turned out to be an interesting element to the story as it is set in modern day New York City. Though, for me, I think this may have been the root of the discord; magical folklore story too close to “the real world”…does that make sense? Had it been set in a location and time completely different I think I wouldn’t have had as much an issue with determining my opinion of the story.

I didn’t realize it while I was reading it, but upon reflection, I was subconsciously debating on DNFing the book after the halfway mark. Now, that’s not to say it wasn’t good or enjoyable in it’s own right…It was just different. A kind of different I might not have been wholly prepared for when I first started the book. I am glad that I finished the book though; the ending and the story telling redeemed the faults that came before.

The plot was good and reasonably thought out, in my humble opinion. *shrug* I liked all the trails of the story that were explored and woven together. This is ultimately what probably saved my opinion on this book. It’s got multiple layers from both past, present, reality, and fairy tale which make for in interesting tale. The writing was decent; it didn’t blow me away but it wasn’t hard to read through it. The main character was decently developed (there’s room for improvement though) but I feel like the secondary characters were less defined which resulted in a lack of attachment to them on my part.

Full review: https://wanderinglectiophile.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/review-the-changeling-by-v...
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RochelleJones | 76 other reviews | Apr 5, 2024 |
A nice short story for those that enjoyed Lovecraft Country
kfick | 83 other reviews | Mar 31, 2024 |
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I borrowed a copy of this on ebook from my library.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this quite a bit and especially loved how the book ended. This was a very different read but I loved the history here as well as the unique, strong female characters. Prior to reading this I had read Lavalle's "The Ballad of Black Tom" and really enjoyed that as well.

Adelaide Henry joins us standing over the dead bodies of her parents while she prepares to burn her Californian house down and journey out to Montana. Out in Montana she hopes to claim a homestead, taking advantage of the "lone woman" loop hole in the government's offer of free land to any person who can make the land productive and survive. Adelaide doesn't bring much with her, just a mysterious truck that is strangely heavy and that she is very protective of.

I loved the adventure overtones to this book and really enjoyed the mystery of what was in the truck. Adelaide and the other "lone women" are fascinating characters; they are tough and resourceful with very different pasts. However, they have a current goal that brings them together...surviving the Montana winter and the dangers it brings. Add to this a town of dubious residents and a bit of a fantasy/horror element and you have a story that I struggled to put down.

This story is about survival and striking out on one's own and finding a family for yourself when your own family has failed you. There are heavy horror elements and some of the scenes get very gory. I enjoyed every bit of this and especially liked the ending. It was fun to see an ending like this for a historical fantasy horror story.

My Summary (4/5): Overall I really enjoyed this. This is a bit of a different story about strong women, adventure on the western frontier, survival, and things that go bump in the night. I would recommend if you are looking for something in that vein or if you are just looking for a historical western fantasy that is a bit different from anything else you have read and don't mind some horror elements.

This is the second book by Lavalle I have really enjoyed. I love his unique historical re-imaginings, intriguing characters and the way he blends in dark horror/fantasy elements. I definitely plan on picking up his other books as well
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krau0098 | 28 other reviews | Mar 7, 2024 |
Wild and suspenseful in the best ways possible! The 1915 Montana setting acts as a perfect landscape for a story about personal pasts, the strength of women, and monsters. I can’t wait to read more from LaValle.
deborahee | 28 other reviews | Feb 23, 2024 |



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Tobias Buckell Contributor
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Alice Sola Kim Contributor
Jamie Ford Contributor
Ashok K. Banker Contributor
Seanan McGuire Contributor
Sam J. Miller Contributor
Daniel José Older Contributor
Justina Ireland Contributor
G. Willow Wilson Contributor
Micaela Dawn Cover artist, Illustrator
Brittany Peer Colorist
Craig Yeung Illustrator
Yuko Shimizu Cover artist
Gene Mollica Cover designer
Anna Kochman Cover designer
Ario Anindito Cover artist
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