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Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

Summary: A young girl from the dream lands falls for a 'waking-land' young man and follows him home.  The only problem is that she is a god's granddaughter, and when he finds her gone, all hell will break loose.  It is up to Vellitt Boe to bring her home and save their world.

At it's most basic, this novella is an homage to Lovecraft's Dream-Quest series.  But, oh goodness it is so much more than that! 

The main character is in her fifties, not a mother, not married, an experienced and driven traveler, fearless, intelligent, and a major linchpin for the survival of her world.  Awesome.  If you have read Lovecraft, you know he can be quite the misogynist.  Johnson counters his original world with strong women making strong choices, who understand how sacrifice ensures that the progress of women in their world remains.

The writing is simple but eloquent, and I felt utterly transported into this strange, glorious, scary, immense world where the sky is never the same colour, the stars are few, and the creatures are gruesome and beautiful all at the same time.  It feels much greater than its 172 pages.  Favorite quote: “Some people change the world. And some people change the people who change the world, and that’s you.” 

Stunning.

5/5

172 pages

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