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Present Writers: Molly Gloss

This is the latest in a recurring series! For more about the series, please read the original post on Marta Randall, or subsequent posts on Dorothy Heydt, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherwood Smith, Nisi Shawl, Pamela Dean, Gwyneth Jones, Caroline Stevermer, Patricia C. Wrede, Lois McMaster Bujold, Nancy Kress, Diane Duane, Candas Jane Dorsey, Greer Gilman, Robin McKinley, Laurie Marks, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman,Rosemary Kirstein, Karen Joy Fowler, Susan Cooper, Ellen Klages, Lisa Goldstein, C.J. Cherryh, and Kate Elliott.

My favorite history professor in college started the semester by telling us, “If you don’t read science fiction, you should start now, because that’s the mindset you need to cultivate for this class.” The blend of settings Molly Gloss uses in her work gives me the impression that she feels the same. She moves from science fiction to historical fiction and back again, sometimes in the same collection, with a seamless sense of the continuity of human experience–including the fundamental strangeness and dislocation of being a thinking person. Whether it’s generation ships or WWI-era rodeo riders, Gloss has a deft hand with characterization.

Her new collection, Unforeseen, is one of the most comprehensively readable collections I’ve read in years. Some of the pieces in it are quite old, others new to this collection, and it’s lovely to see new work out from her again. Her stories are so vital and living, they’re just what I need right now. Maybe you do too.

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