In October this year Allen & Unwin will publish Margo Lanagan’s Red Spikes, her third short story collection, and the follow up to her World Fantasy Award winning collection, Black Juice. Because of the reception that Margo got for both Black Juice and “Singing My Sister Down” from critics and awards juries, I think a lot of readers wondered if that book lived up to the hype. Mostly I think people found that it did. The other thing that people have wondered is, can she do it again?
Well, it’s too early to say for sure, but the nice folks at Allen & Unwin here in Australia recently produced an intriguing little book – a sampler with three stories apiece from White Time, Black Juice and Red Spikes – that suggests the answer may be yes. The three stories from Red Spikes – “A Good Heart”, “Daughter of the Clay” and “Under Hell, Over Heaven” – are all strong stories, with “A Good Heart” possibly the stand out. I also read her story “A Pig’s Whisper” in the new Agog!, which made me shudder. Hmm. Can’t wait to see the other seven stories from the new book. She’s an amazing writer.