intense sensations

Far-out fantasies that gave me a lot of pleasure

Posted on: October 7, 2011

Conmergence: An Anthology of Speculative FictionConmergence: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction by Tara Maya
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s commonly suggested that it’s harder to write good short stories than to write good novels because in a short story there’s less space to set the scene and develop characters. First of all, I don’t agree with this. There’s no room for flabby prose in a good novel either and short stories are easier to edit because they are shorter.

But, whatever your form, it’s very hard to capture a reader’s interest immediately. And in a short story it’s very hard to take your reader on a journey that will leave him or her feeling satisfied.

If that is hard to do in a short story, it’s even harder in a science fiction or fantasy story, in which the world inhabited by the characters may be very different from our own.

Tara Maya doesn’t seem to be aware of any of these difficulties. She writes easily, fluently and eloquently as if she were born writing stories about strange people in exotic lands. There are no false notes, no awkward explanations, no loose ends. The surprises, when they come, are well prepared. The characters do develop and so does our understanding of them.

I got a lot of pleasure from these stories and I’d like to read more of Tara Maya’s work. I especially enjoyed her story called Portrait of a Pretender. There were a couple of sentences in there that were far more erotic than a whole slew of stories by some erotica writers I’ve sampled recently.

Vanessa Wu is the author of Love Has No Limits

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Books by Vanessa Wu

Lure of the Feminine

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