Dreams of Distant Shores
By: Patricia A. McKillip
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Featuring three brand-new stories and an original introduction by Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn.
Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of her newest work, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Within these pages you will find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life, and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.
Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will find much to delight them; those lucky enough to be discovering her work will find much to enchant them.
Yay, another new book from Patricia A. McKillip! As many of you may know, I’m a big fan of her books, so I was delighted to learn that she was releasing another collection of short stories this 2016 and just couldn’t resist pre-ordering it xD
I have to say, this latest batch of short stories is very much in keeping with her latest trend of storytelling a la Kingfisher (review) whereby most of these tales are set in our world but with magical and fantastical elements or happenings. I admit, I much prefer her earlier stories that are set wholly in a fantastical world of its own rather than in our world, but that’s a personal preference, and it doesn’t stop the stories contained within this volume from being rather interesting. I reckon I may have to re-read a few of them again to truly grasp some of the nuances of the story, but the stories that stuck out for me the most were “The Gorgon in the Cupboard” and “Something Rich and Strange”, probably because they were the longer pieces included in this book and thus had more time to develop (both the stories and the characters).
What is nice about this collection is that a short essay was included at the end of the book in which she talks about her writing process a bit and how she approaches writing fantasy novels. For readers big on fantasy novels or writers of the genre, it’s an essay definitely worth checking out and reflecting on.
If you’re a new reader to Patricia A. McKillip’s books and you want to read her short stories, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book, I’d probably recommend her early collection Harrowing the Dragon (review). Nonetheless it’s another excellent volume from Patricia A. McKillip and a volume I’ll likely revisit as I anticipate her next book!