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A Glass of Shadow

A Glass Of Shadow - Liz Williams, Tanith Lee I came to this not really knowing what to expect, with no particular expectations, and came away pleasantly surprised.

In this collection Liz Williams effortlessly blends themes from Fantasy, SF and Weird Horror in a variety of different ways to form an eclectic array of stories. She is equally comfortable with both female or male protagonists, constructing convincing characters that the reader has no trouble believing in. Her stories often begin enigmatically, drawing you in quick although I didn't always find the endings as satisfying. Her prose is very accessible though not lacking in eloquence when needed.

A theme running throughout many of the stories was that often men were made the victims of women, either in the form of supernatural beings such as succubi, water elementals, vengeful ghosts, etc., or from women in general such as the two stories set on a distant future Mars in which the dominating matriarchal societies have genetically eliminated men out of existence. However I don't detect a feminist agenda here, this is no attempt to turn the tables on men to put the boot on the other foot. I sense she sympathises with men and their weaknesses that are all too easy to exploit.

For me this was a good introduction to Liz Williams but I wonder how representative this is of her other work? I don't doubt I shall read another of her books before long.