Lorina Stephens has proven herself an engaging author.
- The (Hanover) Post
It is often the case with contemporary Canadian authors that they have a tendency to punctuate their novels with long, psychological dissertations on mundane subjects. It's as if they feel that each everyday occurrence is fraught with deep sociological undertones.
Lorina Stephens, fortunately, is free of such meanderings. She has a good economy of words and each paragraph contains vital information.
- Dan Pelton
|Publisher:||Five Rivers Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.45(d)|
About the Author
She has had several short fiction pieces published in Canada's acclaimed On Spec magazine, Postscripts to Darkness, Neo-Opsis, Deluge, Strangers Among Us, and Marion Zimmer Bradley's fantasy anthology Sword & Sorceress X.
Her book credits include:
Stonehouse Cooks, Five Rivers Publishing, 2011,
From Mountains of Ice, Five Rivers Publishing, 2009,
And the Angels Sang, Five Rivers Publishing, 2008,
Shadow Song, Five Rivers Publishing, 2008,
Recipes of a Dumb Housewife, Lulu Publishing 2007,
Credit River Valley, Boston Mills Press 1994,
Touring the Giant's Rib: A Guide to the Niagara Escarpment; Boston Mills Press 1993
Lorina Stephens is presently working on two new novels, The Rose Guardian, and Caliban. She lives with her husband of four decades in a historic stone house in Neustadt, Ontario.
You can find her at lorinastephens.com, Facebook, and Twitter @LorinaStephens
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lorina Stephens demonstrates mastery of distopian/strange fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy in this recent seventeen story anthology. Although many pieces are previously published, shorter unpublished works such as 'Protector', 'The Gift', and 'Zero Mile' are captivating looks at phenomena just on the edge of our current reality - while longer pieces such as the futuristic Jaguar (my favorite) really allow Stephens to shine by allowing room to more fully explore her characters.Though the collection is split among three genres, all of the stories touch upon the common theme of the individual's struggle for self-determination against external oppressive influence. The theme plays out in the guise of yearning for motherhood in a eugenic society ('Have a Nice Day and Pass the Arsenic'), the abused ('Darkies'), an empath trapped in the service of society ('Protector'), mortality ('The Gift'), and thirteen other ways.Despite being variations on a theme, all of the pieces are original, and the storytelling is far from repetitive. The author deftly shifts from the eerie to the mundane creating a satisfying reading experience, each story allowing the reader unique immersion in the psyche of a different character.'And the Angels Sang' is highly recommended for anyone interested in speculative fiction, sci-fi, or fantasy, as Stephens' writing will carry the adherent of any one genre seamlessly into the others. Though the anthology was 25 years in the making, I certainly hope to see more from Stephens - and soon.
i enjoyed this. a very absorbing, thought-provoking read. some of the stories weren't to my usual taste, but still i found them all very interesting and pleasing. my favourite short story would have to be 'over-exposed', but 'a case of time' and 'have a nice day and pass the arsenic' get special mention. a fine collection of stories. i'd gladly read any other book by lorina stephens.
This book¿s main title may insinuate an assemblage of angelic tales, personal NDE accounts, celestial poetry, or rhapsodic Bible stories. But its subtitle should advise a gathering of spatial, spectral, supernatural, or down-right spooky fiction. This is collection of 17 whimsical short stories¿about half previously published¿unevenly divided under the device of two angels: Shamsiel, a sentry over fallen angels and the guardian of the Garden of Eden, watches over the yarns involving alien life-forms, time travel, String Theory, time folding, and other preternatural material; Sariel, an archangel assigned as the eternal protector of creation, stands guard over more earth-bound subjects dealing with human perplexities and problems, even if the characters are non-human.Lorina Stephens lists her intentions and inspirations behind several stories in her ¿Afterword¿; I won¿t parse them here. Each story is bannered with a reproduction of art pieces¿most by the author, but several are attributed to others. These drawings suggest the pith of each tale, which is great because some of Stephens¿ fancy might otherwise be lost within her pros-etry style. ¿And the Angels Sang,¿ the lead story from which the book gains its title, is a first-person narrative¿almost spiritual retelling¿of the martyrdom of Jean de Brébeuf, a patron saint of Canada. The story displays repugnant rapture as the narrator suffers torment through torture, doubt, despair, and salvation in his final demise. Nevertheless, there is a considerable historical gaffe here. Historical accounts reveal that Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary to and the ethnographer of the Huron tribe, was captured by the Iroquois (not the Huron), staked and tortured to death by scalping, boiling, and mutilating, along with fellow Jesuit Gabriel Lallemant (not Paul Ragueneau) suffering at the stake next to him. The historical Ragueneau, the proctor of the North American mission for eight years while de Brébeuf served there, returned to France where he apparently died peacefully. Hmm.Several fantasies sink into alternate subtitle categories: spatial (¿Zero Mile¿), time travel (¿Jaguar¿), twin paradox (¿Sister Sun¿), supernatural (¿Protector¿), or spooky (¿Summer Wine¿). Other stories drift their own courses and a couple tales glide toward other works: ¿The Gift¿ smacks of fantastical dementia that harkens to Charlotte Perkins Gilman¿s ¿The Yellow Wallpaper¿; and, while purple shades grow around her in ¿Darkies,¿ Melina¿s chant resonates the lyrics of Prince¿s ¿Purple Rain¿ (¿I only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain¿).Character echelons include ordinary humans, anthropomorphic animals, sorcerers, elves, Halflings, efreeti, specters and goddesses. A few stories float Aesopic conclusions: ¿Smile of the Goddess¿ retells a moral about being careful about prayer requests; ¿A Dishwasher for Michelina¿ is a delightful rendering of human foibles following a financial windfall; and the most ribald and risible tale, ¿Dragonslayer,¿ satirizes a brimstone bootlegger and life insurance salesman¿s outwitting of the government.Stephens¿ creations pool into a cooling diversion while being highly meromictic.
I enjoyed this collection of short stories, which dare I say are the best stories of this author in the last 25 years? OK I dare. My three favorites in order are:1.) Have a nice day and pass the arsenic2.) A dishwasher for Michelina3.) Zero mile There were many other stories of the 17 I liked, but those 3 are my favorites. Most of the titles were of the Sci-Fi or Fantasy genres, or leaning towards them. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys great Science Fiction & Fantasy stories; you'll thank me later.