Review Round-Up: “A Hollow Play”

A while back Michael D. Thomas posted a review round-up of things people were saying about Glitter & Mayhem. I’ve further distilled it down to the ones that made me curl up into a tiny ball and glow with happiness.

From Karen Burnham in the print edition of Locus:

Out of 20 stories here there are four that I would happily suggest for awards lists (the Barzak, Swirsky, El-Mohtar, and Schwartz), which is a ratio any anthology could be proud of. I was surprised at how much these stories hit my sweet spot, even though I have little interest in disco, or David Bowie, or night clubs or (before now), roller derby. In the hands of the right story-teller, even worlds far away from our own (and much, much cooler than our own) can engage and fascinate.

From Lois Tilton at Locus Online, who gave it a “Recommended” rating:

The decadent air of the cabaret is far from the overdone sameness of glittery clubs and disco balls. There is a freshness to the magic to the sacrifice that Emily learns to make, as well. A nice variation on the old fairyland exile story.

–RECOMMENDED

From Brit Mandelo at Tor.com:

Perhaps my favorite of the bunch was “A Hollow Play” by Amal El-Mohtar—a story with a wrenching, intimate emotional core as well as a thoughtful exploration of embodiment, attachment, and loss. The Peri and their situation are fully realized, but the reader is never overwhelmed with extraneous detail. Additionally, the relationships between women—and the acknowledgement of the real depth and potentiality of “friendship,” often represented as more shallow than romantic love—were intense and a genuine delight to read.

I’ve written my own review of the anthology on Goodreads. I continue to be staggered by the fact that Michael, Lynne, and John put together such a well-rounded collection in three months. I genuinely feel that the Kickstarter backers have got their money’s worth here. I’m also just so grateful to the editors for taking what is, by the skin of its teeth, my first novelette, especially one as weird and vulnerable as “A Hollow Play” turned out to be.

Glitter & Mayhem is available from SmashwordsApex PublicationsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository, and Weightless Books. I hope you’ll check it out!

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4 Responses to Review Round-Up: “A Hollow Play”

  1. I just discovered PodCastle yesterday, and have been listening to it non stop for hours while I work. Your story “A Hollow Play” has really stuck with me, and I can’t stop thinking about it. It was so personal and easy to relate to, and it really touched me. It’s a beautiful story. I just wanted to thank you for writing it. I’ll definitely be seeking out more of your work, and sending a donation to PodCastle in thanks for what they do, and for exposing me to your wonderful writing.

    • Thank you so much — both for listening and for taking the time to comment! This really means a lot, and I’m delighted you’ve discovered PodCastle. I wish you many excellent stories!

  2. I just listened to your gorgeous story “A Hollow Play” on PodCastle upon the recommendation of Tina Connolly, who said she “fell in love with it”, and whose narration was a perfect match to the story. As soon as I finished it I had to comment. I have to say, more beautifully drawn characters I cannot imagine. I also fell in love. I’ve never had a friendship such as Emily describes- the soul sharing kind, unfortunately, and your story made me wish for one yet to come.These were women I’d dearly love to know. The ending brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips as I realized Anna was writing. Lovely work. Thank you.

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