by Lisa Tuttle
Sharyn McCrumb – my other happy discovery – also combines a satisfying, convincing tale of detection with deeper, thought-provoking issues – many of them involving differences between men and women -- in If Ever I Return, my Peggy-O, a potent time-capsule set in 1986 but looking back to the ‘60s and Viet Nam. What a treat: there’s a whole list of her other books I look forward to reading.
I ordered a copy of Elizabeth Hand’s Available Dark earlier this year, just as soon as it was published in the U.K. I had not expected there to be a follow-up to Generation Loss, her first novel about Cass Neary, a burnt-out photographer and low-life wreck from the punk era who winds up in the middle of a crime scene and then, although her own behaviour can be criminal, becomes a sort of detective in pursuit of answers, but there is a brilliant inevitability to Available Dark, which is possibly even weirder and darker and certainly just as compelling as the first book.
Much as I loved all of the above, and a couple of oldies I can’t quite believe it has taken me so long to get around to reading, especially because they really are every bit as great and essential as I’d been told (Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellmann and Little, Big by John Crowley), my book of the year is We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. I won’t even say anything more about it except: Read it, if you haven’t already.
Lisa Tuttle is the author of numerous novels and short story collections. She has also published nonfiction and more than a dozen books for younger readers. In 1974 she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and, in 1987, the BSFA award in the short fiction category. Aqueduct Press published her novella My Death in 2008 (which is now available as an ebook). Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she has made her home in a remote rural region of Scotland for the last twenty years.