February books 1) The Woman Who Gave Birth To Rabbits 2) Memories of the Irish Israeli War
1) The Woman Who Gave Birth To Rabbits, by Emma Donoghue. A fascinating set of short stories with a theme of how we live in our own bodies. I bought it because I had spotted her as an Irish author of occasionally sff-type stuff, and asked her which if any of her work fitted my list. The last story in this collection, "Looking for Petronilla", does turn out to have fantasy elements and to my great annoyance takes an idea for a short story I have been working on recently and does it much better than I could hope to. The whole collection is excellent. The true story of Caroline Crachami will linger with me, as will the tale of Effie's wedding night, and the Cambridge book-burning (this last told with a love of the geography of the city with which I completely agree).
2) Memories of the Irish Israeli War, by Phil O'Brien. This came to me for similar if slightly stranger reasons, explained in an earlier post. In fact I'll have to take it off the list as it has no sf or fantasy elements at all, and is set not in Ireland but in a London kebab restaurant populated by various middle eastern blokes. The narrator is a woman from Belfast and tells the story in a beautifully captured idiomatic stream of consciousness; presumably the other characters' accents are reasonably authentic too, though since I've spent the grand total of one long weekend in the Middle East I can't be sure. The verve and energy of the language is very absorbing; but I was never quite sure what was actually happening.
Right, the baby has finally gone to sleep in my arms so I will do likewise.