Shoggoths in Bloom is a collection of shorter fiction by Elizabeth Bear, must-award winning sci-fi and fantasy author. Includes a couple of tales that bagged her one or two Hugos.
Why did I want to read it?
I’ve read some of her work before in anthologies and her stories have always stuck out for me (she was probably my favourite from the recent Lovecraft themed collection which I read and reviewed here), particularly as she often writes tales related to the Cthulu mythos. So I wanted to get to know her work better.
Plus I loved the cover.
And the title.
What did I think of it?
A really strong collection showcasing the variety of her work. If I’m honest I was a tiny wee bit disappointed in the title story, which was good but not great IMHO. But there wasn’t a bad story in here and my particular favourites were:
- Tideline – one of the Hugo winners, very moving. Loved Chalcedony.
- In the House of Aryaman, A Lonely Signal Burns – a murder mystery in a futuristic India, with one of the characters being a genetically manufactured hyacinth parrot-cat
- Cryptic Coloration – dealing with mythical beasties in the real world
- Confessor – what’s really going on in that hidden lab up that mountain trail?
There are some themes that Bear is clearly interested in, mythical creatures and genetic modifications but two. I like the fact that she writes well across a range of genres and she is a genuine pleasure to read. I’ve already got my hands on more of her stories. Recommended.