cover image Portable Childhoods

Portable Childhoods

Ellen Klages, , intro. by Neil Gaiman. . Tachyon, $14.95 (210pp) ISBN 978-1892391452

Klages, whose debut novel, The Green Glass Sea (2006), won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, demonstrates both superior writing skill and a wide range in an impressive short story collection that defies easy categorization. The 16 selections, three of which are original to the volume, include moving mainstream tales of human relationships, such as the title story, about a mother and daughter, as well as fantasy and science fiction. The author is equally adept at short, twisty narratives that make the most of premises that could be gimmicks in lesser hands, like the recursive “Möbius, Stripped of a Muse.” This collection will linger in the memory long after reading, and should help garner a larger audience for Klages's forthcoming second novel. (May)