Lovingly described landscapes turn out to be full of deadly treasures. [Kalin's] exquisite turns of phrase lull the reader, who then gets undercut by the jarring reality of death. Kalin's ability to combine beauty and dread astonishes.
…Loss and grief loom large. Disintegration turns to transformation. Truth leads to change. In Kalin's unflinching imagination, change can be dramatic and profound and its consequences are often unfathomable, painful and stark but, as she writes, always beautiful, even as you wince.
For the whole introduction, you'll have to grab an e- or hard-copy of the book itself. Don't worry, it's only two weeks more to wait. (Two weeks!)
I also saw the cover art, which I shared via Alisa on facebook but I want to put here as well because self-explanatory. I admit to sneaking glance after adoring glance at it, and I can't wait to see it printed.
Tulliæn spans a fractured mountaintop, where the locals lie and the tourists come to die. Try the honey.
Briskwater crouches deep in the shadow of a dam wall. Ignore the weight of the water hanging overhead, and the little dead girl wandering the streets. Off with you, while you still can.
In Haverny Wood the birds drink blood, the dogs trade their coughings for corpses, the lost children carve up their bodies to run with the crows, and the townsfolk stitch silence into their spleens. You mustn't talk so wild.
The desert-locked outpost of Boundary boasts the famed manufacturers of flawless timepieces; those who would learn the trade must offer up their eyes as starting materials. Look to your pride: it will eat you alive.
Sooner or later, in every community, fate demands its dues — and the currency is blood.
The book itself is going to be officially launched at Swancon 40, which is this year's Natcon. I've booked my flights over and I'll be bringing Squawk, who is simultaneously the reason this book was late and the reason its stories have any spine to them. She's very excited about our upcoming "ollie-day" and is planning to entertain you all by impersonating tigers and rabbits.2
Hope to see you there!