“Dreams of Distant Shores” by Patricia A. McKillip provides an intriguing look at the author’s ability to evoke remarkable worlds that are almost familiar yet unlike anything that most of us have ever imagined. One has to be in the proper frame of mind to savor these stories because they not only require a suspension of disbelief but a willingness to twist one’s mind in directions that aren’t always straightforward. I didn’t quite grasp the connection between all of the stories but I enjoyed reading the author’s exposition on her desire to both follow and break the ‘rules’ of high fantasy as well as the paean by the remarkable Peter S. Beagle who explores McKillip’s journey toward distant shores. I enjoyed the “Which Witch” twists and turns and the changes wrought by the association between the witch and the goddess in “Mer”, and I was fascinated by the glimpses of the sea in “Something Rich and Strange” and its rich imagery while paradoxically being frustrated by the events taking place. This book provides a weird and wonderful trip and I look forward to exploring even more of the exotic worlds imagined by this fascinating author.
This collection of seven fantasy tales and a couple of essays (one in the form of a letter) provide a mystical journey that challenges the reader to look at the world differently. The stories range from commonplace locations such as a bathroom that is made exotic by the story that is being told there while odd occurrences rage outside to a musical coven of witches with a variety of unexpected weapons plus an immersion into a world that is both a commentary on the havoc wrought by mankind on nature and a mystical exploration of relationships and ties that bind.
A youthful artist is possessed by both his painting and his muse. Seductive travelers from the sea enrapture distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life. Two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.
Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of three brand-new stories, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will delight in these previously-uncollected tales; those new to her work will find much to enchant them.