On Margo

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.

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16 Comments

  1. “The other thing that people have wondered is, can she do it again?”

    No pressure, or anything. ;)

  2. I snagged ‘White Time’ immediately after reading ‘Black Juice’ last year. It was a treat. ‘Red Spikes’ should be brilliant, no question.

    Margo Lanagan and Kelly Link, fraternal twins separated at birth? Slipstream is in very fine shape…

  3. I don’t really think Kelly is slipstream all that often. I don’t think “The Wizards of Perfil” is slipstream or, really, something like “The Faery Handbag”.

    As to Margo’s story – do you get all the references? I think it namechecks two or three famous series of kid’s characters here in Australia.

  4. The main ones, and Margo might correct me here, are Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (sort of flower fairy babies), and the characters from The Magic Pudding. All of which are kinda cute, but don’t get past the bodycount. Erg.

  5. You got it, Jonathan (although I’m glad it still works without readers getting the references). Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are kind of warped adolescent versions of themselves, and the Pudding is malign – but then, he always was, I felt. And there’s the Babes in the Wood, from the Oud Country, as well, but that one’s obvious.

  6. Jonathan: It’ll possibly go into the Yellow collection, which looks like it might be all reprints.

    Ellen: Yes, I’m a bit obsessed with children in dark forests at the moment. But you have the Hansel and Gretel story. A few bodies in that one too, eh. *evil grin*

  7. That’s the one. It’s getting so that any title other than Yellow Snow sounds wrong, Jonathan. You must stop this. :)

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