20 January, 2022

LitStaff Picks: Our Favorite Short Stories

The Lineaments of Gratified Desire
Ysabeau S. Wilce
I was introduced to one of my favorite authors, Ysabeau S. Wilce, via a short story entitled “The Lineaments of Gratified Desire” (2006), which appears in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionFrom the first sentence I wanted to read everything she’d ever written, which, unfortunately, at the time wasn’t much. Within a year, though, she released her debut novel, Flora Segunda, and I devoured it the day it came out.
“Lineaments” was set in the same world, Califa, as the Flora novels, though featuring different characters in a different time period. The language was topsy turvy enough to make your head spin–in that delightful, I-just-stepped-off-an-awesome-roller-coaster sort of way–and the world we glimpsed in those few pages was wild and complex and beautiful. Wilce, who went on to win The Andre Norton Award and other honors, created a shimmering new class of fantasy that was neither medieval nor futuristic, but altogether unlike our own reality.
The third and supposedly final novel in the trilogy, Flora’s Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light, was just released this week, and I can’t wait to have my mind tossed about by Wilce’s deft imagination once more.
-Elisha Dew

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