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“Brine, ships & harpoon-wielding mermaids…” Two excellent reviews of ‘A Shot of Salt Water’

The Dark Issue 8I woke this morning to two brilliant reviews of ‘A Shot of Salt Water’, my contribution to the May issue of The Dark. The first appeared as part of Brit Mandelo’s “Short Fiction Spotlight: Spring Smorgasbord” over on Tor.com, in which the review of my story gets to rub shoulders with those of Seanan McGuire’s work, and Isabel Yap’s, and Elizabeth Bear’s… Mandelo has many fantastic things to say about my piece, including that it’s “the most atmospheric of the bunch this time … —appropriate to The Dark, in that it’s rather unnerving and bleak… Plus: good prose, good world, interesting emotional arc.”

The second appears on Maria Haskins’ website — from which I’ve pinched the quote for the title of this post — and in which Haskins says so many incredibly insightful and kind things about my story, I hardly know what to say:

A Shot of Salt Water is quite simply an amazing short story. Hannett’s language is alive: harsh and clipped in places, yet flowing and enticing at the same time. Her writing gives the world in this story a rough and real presence way beyond the polished surfaces of some high fantasy tales, and her words pull you inside the world, inside the strangeness of it, making you feel the place and its people as though you were right there with them.

These reviews are a delight not just because they say such lovely things, but because the world in which this story is set is one I keep revisiting (almost compulsively lately) and so every so often I write another sea-salted piece, and then another, and another… All of which will one day (soon, but not immediately) get wrapped up in the covers of a new book.

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