September 2nd, 2009


Nice Locus Review

 Thank you to lmarley  for pointing this out to me! From Locus:

Cat Rambo's collection, Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight
, its title a slight abbreviation of the opening work, announces its poetic audacity straight away. Though that opener (Her Eyes...") takes place in the world of an online fantasy game she still works with, and many of the others are set in the fantasy seaport of Tabat she invented for a game that never made it to the web, Rambo's unpretentiously lyrical way with words and her strong sense of character keep even tales of wizards, lovelorn maidens, monsters, or pirates from taking on the stale air of artificial constructions, game points, and archetypes invoked by clicking keyboards.

Some forms of intense realism can leave me figuratively gasping for air, as noted in the previous review, and so can imaginary worlds with an excess of background. Neither problem arises here. While good at many lengths, this relative newcomer excels at works of less than a dozen pages. "The Silent Familiar," "Magnificent Pigs," "Heart in a Box," and short shorts like "Rare Pears and Greengages" and "A Key Decides Its Destiny," variously manage to humanize strange realms, blend modern life with Faerie or the stuff of fairy tales, and mingle a famous children's character with the art of tattoo. Glimpses of the everyday, occasional uppity feminism, and some wild (and witty) twists on genre just add spice to the mix.