by Athena Andreadis
Cat Rambo’s recent collection, Near + Far (Hydra House, $16.95 print, $6.99 digital), is a tête-bêche book containing 2×12 stories of wildly different lengths that previously appeared in such venues as Abyss & Apex, Clarkesworld, Clockwork Phoenix, Crossed Genres, Daily SF and Lightspeed.
Before I discuss the stories themselves, I’ll mention two secondary but important aspects of the book. One is the attention paid to the presentation; as one example, the text ornaments are almost distracting in their beauty. The other is that each story has an afterword in which Rambo gives its backstory and worldpath. Personally, I greatly enjoy such fore/afterwords (I still fondly recall Harlan Ellison’s needle-sharp, needling introductions) and find that they invariably deepen my understanding and appreciation of the tale – provided that the writer knows their craft. Which brings us to the content of the collection.
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