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The Fate of Mice by Susan Palwick
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The Fate of Mice (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Susan Palwick (Author)

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1006235,543 (4.24)2
Gathering together the most outstanding short stories of Susan Palwick’s twenty-year literary career, The Fate of Mice is a powerful collection from an extraordinary fantasist. These unflinching tales, including three original pieces, consider a woman born with her heart exposed and the heartless killer who protects her, a wolf who is willingly ensnared by a devious academic, a businessman resurrected to play at politics, and an ingenious mouse dreaming beyond the laboratory. With the perceptiveness of Joyce Carol Oates, the inventiveness of Ray Bradbury, and the emotional resonance of Alice Sebold, The Fate of Mice is a meditation on the very art of storytelling: mythic, beautiful, and often brutal, filled with authentic compassion.… (more)
Member:kaitwallas
Title:The Fate of Mice
Authors:Susan Palwick (Author)
Info:Tachyon Publications (2007), 218 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Fate of Mice by Susan Palwick (2007)

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» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
~ The Fate of Mice - 3* - A scientist gives a mouse the ability to speak. The mice ends up having memories of things he couldn't have possibly participated in. With his new ability the scientist and his daughter are able to converse with the mouse and his knowledge grows. Life in a box is hard when you are intelligent.

~ Gestella - 1* - Shifter story. The first hit was the MC is 14 when in human form and actively participating in sex with a 30 year old. The final blow was how he got rid of her. So we got child molestation and animal cruelty. FU author.

~ The Old World - 2* - When humans evolve and all our conflicts and lack of empathy is resolved there is a certain part of the population that can't cope. Their whole life they had been "opposing things, protesting things, defining other people as enemies. And now they don't have anything to oppose or protest, and the people they thought were their enemies are acting like friends, and they can't deal with it."

~ Jo's Hair - Jo's Hair - DNF I learned after the fact that it is based on a character from Little Women. Jo sold her hair (her only beauty) for $25. This is a story of what happened to the hair, from the first family that bought it for a fancy waltz, to a house maid who steals it, to an actress traveling abroad.... My issue was the story just skipped along not spending any time with these new locations and intermixing Jo's real life with that of the hair. I found it confusing and too fast paced.

~ Going After Bobo - DNF - The MC is young boy living in futuristic time I believe. His cat gets let out intentionally by his mean brother and as the story continues it seems he is living in a pretty dysfunctional house. The story progresses very slowly and I lost interest in reading the story of a boy, who maybe at some point will go out to look for his cat. He has a tracker attached to it's collar or something so he knows where to head. I guess it's a high risk journey. Attempted to listen to on a podcast in Jan 2020.

~ Beautiful Stuff - 3* - I didn't like as much as some reviewers. A politician who voted for, along with other politicians, to attack the people who attacked us on a 911 type of event, feels support for his re-election slipping. So he raised the dead victims at a rally to try and remind the citizens of who they lost. One of the zombies whom he has been prepping to be the spokesman for the zombies decides to do it it his way and goes off script trying to remind people to appreciate being alive while they can. When your dead, you don't have "beautiful stuff", you have nothing and that hurts.

~ Elephant - 4* - So interesting and unique. A bitter woman reaches out to a friend when she is really low and the friend tries to remind her of the little girl she once was. Something interesting happens after that phone call to help her reconnect with that little girl.

~ Ever After - 4.5* - This novelette is in so many 'best of the year collections', or vampire collections. And now that I've read it, I can see why. It was a great read that I will read again some day when it fades a bit. We are kept in the dark, as, what I thought was a witch, is preparing a young lady to go to a ball. She has been teaching her how to catch a prince. She has been teaching her over multiple visits and balls. Once we get to the ball we learn oh so much more about the "witch", the host of the ball and what is truly going on. Well done!

~ Stormdusk - 4* - What to say... A fairy tale type story. A mother that leaves on the first day of snowfall, underdressed and unhealthy but comes back home renewed and invigorated. A father who tells a fairy tale by the fireplace. A daughter who is concerned about her mother and follows her one year. She learns some of the answers but never confronts her father or attempts to save her mother. Or at least not within this story.

~ Sorrel's Heart - 4* - oooh that was dark. I can't remember how I first started loving this author but I was surprised to come across something that dark (it's not really, really dark. just darker then I expected). Maybe it was RECOVERIES. yes. I think so. Anyways, the deeper meanings of the story went over my head I'm sure. A story of "freaks". Our MC's heart is on the outside and while she is trying to cut it off a male comes across her and notices how she is scared of everything because she feels it all so much. That is why she wants to cut her heart off, she feels too much. His "freak" is he likes to harm things, he likes to kill the things "normal" people like (in unpleasant ways). He sees how much it distresses her and makes a bargain with her. When he feels the urge to hurt something, he could just tell her, see her pain and the feeling will pass. In that way she is actually saving the innocent creatures. She accepts and they build a life together. But they are freaks and the "normals" kills freaks. So, it's a hard life. That is all I have to say. It's enough of a memory trigger for me and maybe anyone who comes across this will see what I mean by dark.

~ GI Jesus - DNF - I probably got to about 60%. Realistic fiction with two best friends supporting each other while they live with the fact that someone they love is missing. One's husband is missing in Vietnam the other's sister is missing after being shunned by family. My description makes it sound more interesting than it was. I wanted to trust the author and get to the end but I was spacing out while reading and that is never a good sign. ( )
  Seayla2020 | Aug 22, 2021 |
A very well written collection of short stories. They're heavy and dark and grim and remind you of your insignificance, but they're so well written. You just keep hoping something will go right in one of these stories. Hang on for the last one. It's an appropriate hope-tinged finale to this great anthology. ( )
  GinnyTea | Mar 31, 2013 |
A collection of short stories. I don't read anthologies much -- I prefer novels -- but I really enjoyed this one. Each story takes your imagination, and emotions, in a different and unexpected direction. I shall never look at Cinderella and her fairy godmother in the same way again.
  mulliner | Jun 16, 2011 |
Awesome. How come I never heard of Susan Palwick before? How come she hasn't been on the Tiptree Award lists? How come how come?I really liked all of the stories in this collection. My favorite might be the first one, "The Fate of Mice", about a smart, talking mouse and the girl who tells him stories. Then again, "Ever After" is pretty cool too. And I didn't even get what was going on with the godmother until most of the way through.And it was "Jo's Hair" that I read in an anthology that made me seek out more of her stuff, so that must be pretty good too.I wonder how much she realizes she has a pregnancy theme going on here. There's at least 4 in here you could read as being about that.I'm very glad I skipped Paul di Fillipo's introduction until after I'd read the book. Not only do introductions like that tend to spoil the stories, but he completely missed a major point. He gives passing reference to her 'feminist concerns' in a paranthetical. I don't think he grasps how almost all of the stories are about women. No matter if the protagonist is male. No matter if it's a mouse.I've borrowed more Palwick from the library. They're high on my to-read list. ( )
1 vote Jellyn | Jan 27, 2010 |
Really brilliant short stories. Definitely one of the strongest collections I've read, but I suppose that has more to do with my taste than actually how good these stories are; I like Neil Gaiman's short stories a lot, and these satisfy me just as much.

Most, if not all, of these stories center around or feature death... in positive, negative, and faded-back light. The stories are short - give it a try! ( )
  squidcoats | Jul 28, 2008 |
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Gathering together the most outstanding short stories of Susan Palwick’s twenty-year literary career, The Fate of Mice is a powerful collection from an extraordinary fantasist. These unflinching tales, including three original pieces, consider a woman born with her heart exposed and the heartless killer who protects her, a wolf who is willingly ensnared by a devious academic, a businessman resurrected to play at politics, and an ingenious mouse dreaming beyond the laboratory. With the perceptiveness of Joyce Carol Oates, the inventiveness of Ray Bradbury, and the emotional resonance of Alice Sebold, The Fate of Mice is a meditation on the very art of storytelling: mythic, beautiful, and often brutal, filled with authentic compassion.

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