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by Devon Monk

These twenty-two short stories are measured out with a cup of normal and a pound of the fantastic.  From dark fairytales to alien skies, Monk's stories blend haunting yesterdays, forgotten  todays and twisted tomorrows wherein: ...A normal little girl in a city made of gears, takes on the world to save a toy.... ...A normal ancient monster living in Seattle, must decide if love is worth trusting a hero... ...A normal patchwork woman and her two-headed boyfriend stitch their life and farm together with needle, thread, and time... ...a normal vampire in a knitting shop must face sun-drenched secrets... ...a normal snow creature's wish changes a mad man's life... ...a normal man breaks reality with a hamster... ...and yes, a normal little robot, defines how extraordinary friendship can be. Poignant, bittersweet, frightening, and funny, these stories pour out worlds that are both lovely and odd, darkly strange and tantalizingly familiar, where no matter how fantastic the setting or situation, love, freedom, and hope find a way to take root and thrive.
Download A Cup of Normal epub
ISBN: 0982073097
ISBN13: 978-0982073094
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Short Stories & Anthologies
Author: Devon Monk
Language: English
Publisher: Fairwood Press, Inc (September 1, 2010)
Pages: 274 pages
ePUB size: 1574 kb
FB2 size: 1175 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 417
Other Formats: doc rtf mbr lrf

The second volume of short stories I've read this year which completely blew me away. (The first was William J. Cook's The Pieta in Ordinary Time: And Other Stories.)
This was freakin' brilliant, some of the finest writing I've ever read - and that applies to *all* the stories in the collection, even if I liked a few less than others.
Lyrical, intelligent, humane, freaky, smart, poetic, twisted and twisty, tender, hopeful, horrifying, challenging, mind-stretching, and generally inspired and inspiring writing, Devon Monk never loses touch with what it means to be human. Or backs off from making her readers ask themselves what it means to them. I've given each story a star rating out of a scale with a top end of 5* ;)

Dusi - Classical mythology meets Seattle. Devon Monk's gifted writing makes it work. 5*

Beer with a Hamster Chaser - Hilarious, brilliant. Cannot think about it without smiling. About 10*

Probe - SF asking profound questions. Like a universe in a drop of water. 5*

That Saturday - Seriously weird, creatively horrifying, strangely tender. 5*

The Wishing Time - Santa story not for Christmas - or is it? 6*

Bearing Life - Fantasy queen between a rock and a hard place. Is she equal to it? No question. Oh, about 12*

A Cup of Normal - Classic SF with a (literal) Twist. Superb. At least 10*

Stitchery - Surreal fantasy/paranormal love story. 5*

Last Tour of Duty - Paranormal war story. 5*

Oldblade - Fantasy sword tale, brilliant short story. 5*

Skein of Sunlight - Rare vampire yarn (couldn't resist, sorry!). 6*

Stringing Tomorrow - Tender SF with a high level of suspense. (You'll get it later.) 6*

X-Day - Christmas SF morality tale. I'm not sure if I'm a very nice person, because this one also leaves me with a mean sort of grin whenever I think of it. 8* at least.

Menders - Far-out SF, cleverly and gently related. 5*

Leeward to the Sky - Poetic fantasy short romance. I reckon 12*, the language deserves no less.

Fishing the Edge of the World - Paranormal slash magic realism, moving, tragic, stubbornly hopeful. 5*

Moonlighting - Fairy tale short with a modern twist you won't see coming. 6*

Christmas Card - Paranormal, sad with a sliver of hope. 5*

Ducks in a Row - Carney meets his match. 5*

Singing Down the Sun - Origin myth: music. Intensely creative, great conclusion. 8*

Here After Life - A ghost story, I guess, from a most unusual point of view, wonderful ending. 5*

Falling with Wings - Dystopian SF romance with depth, warmth and wit. About 12*

When the Train Calls Lonely - Will make you cry, will warm your heart. Elisabeth's voice in this one demonstrates why Devon Monk is the amazing writer that she is. Nothing less than 20*

This is literally the best book of short stories I have ever read. Dark, hopeful, lyrical, wistful, beautiful beyond belief. No two stories are alike and yet they all manage to shine. Even if you are not a short story reader (and I am normally not, but I love all of Devon Monk's novels, so I thought I'd check this out) you are going to want to read these. There are even a few glimpses of the origins of a character or two you might recognize.

This one goes on the keeper shelf.
There is a wide variety of speculative fiction in this collection. All of it is well written, some particularly poingnant. Worth a second read (later, after you've digested it once, you'll be ready for another look).
I've read several of her series - beckstrom and ordinary; but these display such condensed talent and imagination. The best set of short stories I have read in a very long time.
A charming story, a few giggles, and heartwarming. I love returning to Normal.
A great collection of fantastical short stories from a great author.
This is a wonderfully thought provoking collection of stories. I enjoyed every one of them!
wanna read where Devon Monk got her start
all her early shorts from magazines etc
plus a bonus story
and yes shes always been good