Moscow But Dreaming by Ekaterina Sedia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
These stories would hit the spot for anyone who enjoys Russian lit (dark, depressing, consequences) or fantasy (creatures, beings, unexplained events). The combination of the two is magical. Somehow a depressing event becomes epic sorrow when laced with supernatural elements. Sometimes the true story is only hinted at, and the reader has to unravel the words to discover the truth. To me, this is the very best kind of story.
A few highlights:
A Short History of Lunar Seas - Beautiful world building here, what a way to begin.
"One rain everyone still remembers occurred a few years ago, when words fell from the sky... The inhabitants groaned and suffocated under the weight of accumulated regrets, promises, lies, report cards, great literature, pop songs, and shopping lists."
You Dream - Where a boy dies repeatedly, or is it that he died once and haunts her?
Ebb and Flow - A deeply sad story about a prince from the land and a princess from the sea, only with a Japanese twist.
There is a Monster Under Helen's Bed - Adoption is a theme in these stories, but this is a terrifying combination of a childhood yellow wallpaper and a monster under the bed.
The Bank of Burkina Faso - A lighter tale. What if the spam e-mails we get from African royalty are actually true, but the reason they can't get to their bank accounts is that they only exist in dreams?
Seas of the World - Oh goodness. Almost all the sea stories are just terribly sad. This one took a moment to sink in.