I have never read anything by Ekaterina Sedia and I am kicking myself for it. Her anthology Moscow but Dreaming is everything I look for in a book. Even though she only has a few pages to introduce the characters, setting and plot, I always felt connected. Every story just makes you want to read the next one even more. Moscow but Dreaming makes me want to read everything she has ever published and stalk her website for new releases.
The first short story collection by award-winning author Ekaterina Sedia! One of the more resonant voices to emerge in recent years, this Russian-born author explores the edge between the mundane and fantastical in tales inspired by her homeland as well as worldwide folkloric traditions. With foreword by World Fantasy Award-winner Jeffrey Ford, Moscow But Dreaming showcases singular and lyrical writing that will appeal to fans of slipstream and magical realism, as well as those interested in the uncanny and Russian history.
I find it very difficult to review anthologies just because there are always so many characters and plots, and it is very hard to go into what I think was strong or weak. Luckily, Ekaterina Sedia made reviewing Moscow but Dreaming easy. All of it is wonderful!
Her characters, even though we only see them for a little while, are in depth and made the reader want to see what happens to them. The setting for most of the stories was Russia, a personal favorite of mine, and even though there were 21 stories, the setting was new and interesting every time. And what can I say about the plots other than they were exciting and interesting? It only took a few sentences (at most a paragraph) for me to be invested in the story
I categorized this under Fantasy because most of the stories are fantasy but there is a little bit of something in Moscow but Dreaming for everyone. There is folklore aplenty and slipstreams show up. There are even happy endings though they don’t always happen in the conventional way. Sometimes the characters have to lose everything to find their happiness, sometimes that everything includes their life. That’s why I love Moscow but Dreaming, parts of it are very dark but that just makes the moments of happiness stand out.
Even though Ekaterina Sedia had only a chapter to tell her stories (and most could have been made into full length novels and I would have happily kept reading) you don’t feel deprived. With Moscow but Dreaming, Sedia manages to lure you in and keep you interested; which is more than some authors can do in an entire book.