Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Something Mad

I won't do this often, but after something I read last night I have to come on here and rave about something that was for me like a shot of nitro glycerine to the brain.

I generally have at least two books on the go at any one time. I have one I read during the day and one I read a bit of before I turn out the light and go to sleep. My current bedside book is an anthology: The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination edited by John Joseph Adams.

I'm not big on short fiction or anthologies. I can just never get into it. The large reason that this particular one became part of our ever expanding book collection (I swear it's going to take over the house one day and kick us both out) because it contains a story by Seanan McGuire, who is one my and my wife's favourite authors.

The Seanan story was good as they always are, but nothing really stood out in this collection for me, although I did like Instead of a Loving Heart by Jeremiah Tolbert, that was until I read The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Theodora Goss last night. I still have about 9 stories to go in the collection, so something else may capture my mind like The Mad Scientist's Daughter did, but I doubt it.

The premise was fairly simple. The daughters of 6 famous literary mad scientists live together in a house in Victorian London and form a sort of sisterhood, bonded by their shared experience of having had infamous fathers. It was brilliantly and beautifully done. The 6 ladies had very distinct personalities and voices and all struck a perfect note for me. This particular story was written by Catherine Moreau, who was the writer of the group, but it would have been interesting to see how the other ladies viewed the group and their lives from their point of view.

Theodora Goss.

I hadn't read anything by this author before, but I will have to seek her out as I think she mainly writes short work. I'd love to see The Mad Scientist's Daughter expanded into a novel. I don't think it will happen, but damn it would be good.

It's also fired my imagination. There's a thread over at Fantasy Faction entitled Books That Make You Stop Writing, which asks the question do you ever read something that is so damn good it makes you assess your own work in comparison and cry because you know you're never going to be that good. The Mad Scientist's Daughter is one of those stories that makes you want to write.

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