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Jan. short stories

I feel my decision to read more short stories this year has got off to quite a good start. I read eleven in January and am really pleased with that number.

My final three for January are as follows:

That Explains Poland by Charles De Lint tells what happens when three friends decide on a competition to see who can photograph Bigfoot in the lonely, abandoned tenements of Upper Foxville in Newford. A fun, thought provoking story with none of the familiar characters but none the worse for that.

In Romano Drom, also by Charles De Lint, Lorio discovers an ape-like creature in a dirty alley. He seems to know an awful lot about her, including that she has gypsy blood. He talks about 'gypsy roads' like she should know what he's talking about. She doesn't. Or does she? What are these terrifying dreams she's started to have? They feel so real but of course they can't be. Can they?

Two more excellent stories from Dreams Underfoot and many more to come hopefully.

The Cat Who Walked by Himself by Rudyard Kipling is a bit of a fable, imo. Kind of 'Adam and Eve' stuff with 'man' discovering 'woman', whereupon she sets about domesticating him.

She picked out a nice dry Cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in; and she strewed clean sand on the floor; and she lit a nice fire of wood at the back of the Cave; and she hung a dried wild-horse skin, tail-down, across the opening of the Cave; and she said, ‘Wipe your feet, dear, when you come in, and now we’ll keep house.'

She then sets about domesticating the dog, horse and cow. What happens when she tries it with the cat is the subject of the tale basically.

This was a charming story, amusingly told and nicely observed by Kipling. I found it in Animal Stories an anthology taken from some of his Just So stories. It's also available to read online here.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
I have fallen behind on commenting!

I really am looking forward to reading the deLint anthology now, between your commentary and the story from Realms of Fantasy magazine that I read.

Kipling's Just So Stories! I have not read them in years, but loves them so much. I had a volume of them when I was a kid, but that has long since disappeared (despite how many of the books I had as a middle and high schooler are still in my possession). I'll have to follow your link for now and then find a book of them somewhere (checked my Barnes and Noble tonight, they didn't have it).
Feb. 6th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
The link for Kipling's work online is:


Scroll down and the Just So stories are under 'short stories'. I haven't checked the Gutenberg site but there must be something there too.

Look forward to hearing what you think of Dreams Underfoot when you get to it. I have a copy of To Open the Sky here beside me right now. It arrived today.
Feb. 6th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
I'll follow the link at some point today. Thanks!

You got your copy of TOtS ... now it's my turn to be nervous!
Feb. 8th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
LOL! No need... I have a few others to read first but I'm sure I'll like it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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