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Portable Childhoods: Stories Paperback – 19 Apr 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (19 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892391457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892391452
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,892,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

“Ellen Klages believes books can be magic, and now she’s delivered the proof: this spell-weaving collection of her short stories. There are so many smart, sweet, funny, troubling treats here about so many things—childhood, chefs, God, barber shops, the atomic bomb—that it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite. Just read them all! They’re great!”
—Connie Willis

“Klages, whose debut novel, [The] Green Glass Sea (2006), won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, demonstrates both superior writing skill and a wide range in an impressive short-story collection that defies easy categorization. The 16 selections, three of which are original to the volume, include moving mainstream tales of human relationships, like the title story, about a mother and daughter, as well as fantasy and science fiction. The author is equally adept at short, twisty narratives that make the most of premises that could be gimmicks in lesser hands, like the recursive ‘Möbius, Stripped of a Muse.’ This collection will linger in the memory long after reading and should help garner a larger audience for Klages’s forthcoming second novel.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Klages creates wonder-filled and beautiful worlds in her short stories, making this a tremendously satisfying collection.”
Booklist

“The kind of SF writer that comes along once in a decade...brilliant stories.”
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net

“Klages knows that if you can get inside a child’s perspective, it’s all the fantasy you need, and she does it beautifully.”
Locus

“Klages’ superb first story collection...strong emotional stories.”
Denver Post

“Consistently well written and emotionally stimulating, the book is one of the loveliest you’ll find.”
School Library Journal Online

“Klages has the true storyteller’s gift of characters and plot. You believe in people from the first moment they appear on the page, and you can’t guess where they are going. If many of the stories in Portable Childhoods are not already classics in the field, they should be.”
—Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction

“Haunting and crystalline...there are 16 reasons why you should inspect Portable Childhoods. Buy it. Read it. Set it down. Then pick it up and read it again!”
Tangent Online

“Highly recommended. I enjoyed each and every story in the collection.”
SF Revu

“Ellen Klages’s work seems as transparent as spring water, but this is a woman who knows that clarity and simplicity can pierce the heart.”
—Peter Straub

“Ellen Klages writes about childhood in brilliant, primary colors. Like Ray Bradbury, her nostalgic stories are like myths.”
—Maureen McHugh

“This delightful collection showcases the best of Klages. Her protagonists are lovable, her prose natural, and her charm evident throughout.”
—Karen Joy Fowler

“Welcome to Planet Klages! These stories are warm, witty, occasionally wise, and always wonderfully written. Ellen Klages is going to be big as big. Buy this book now, read it today, and become her fan forever.”
—Michael Swanwick

“I haven’t been writing prose very long, but I’ve been reading prose long enough to know this—Ellen Klages approaches greatness.”
—Janis Ian

“Ellen Klages writes like a dream—a dream from which you wake up laughing, and that fills the rest of the day with its strangeness and sweetness.”
—Margo Lanagan

“Like childhood, these stories run deep with not-yet-happened nostalgia and fierce yearning for what never was. And, like children, they brim with joy, wonder, and wickedness.”
—Nicola Griffith

“When you surface out of an Ellen Klages story, it’s like arriving home after a long trip: Your kitchen table, your car, your living room are all recognizably yours, but strange, and not half as real as the place you just came from. That place is the real world, and the people in it are as complex, unpredictable, and solid as you. It’s a hard place to come back from.”
—Emma Bull

“Ellen Klages’s stories combine the clear-eyed wonder of an intelligent child with the beautiful, controlled prose of a craftsman. And they have heart. What more could one ask of fiction?”
—Delia Sherman

“Reading any fiction by Ellen Klages, whether it’s set in the basement of a home in Detroit or on the green glass desert sands near Los Alamos or at the favorite fishing spot of a father and his very special son, you are always submerged deep in the rich and strange magic of life.”
—Charles Vess

“Her stories are always a pleasure to read.... Ellen writes from the point of view of a young child like no one else I know.”
—Nalo Hopkinson

“Ellen Klages is the funniest lead civilian collector in science fiction. Maybe the funniest woman, too.”
—Joe Haldeman

Synopsis

Emerging from a unique and powerful voice, this innovative collection offers a tantalising glimpse of what lies hidden just beyond the ordinary, skirting the border between childhood and adulthood. Mysticism, heroism, cruelty, and compassion thread through these multifaceted tales, which range from the origins of the Manhattan Project to a culinary object-lesson, from 1950s corruption to a slight glitch in Creation. Collected here for the first time and including an excerpt from her breakout first novel "The Green Glass Sea", these stories are timeless and delightful, chilling and beautiful.

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3 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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3 July 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
One person found this helpful
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27 March 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
29 May 2007
Format: Paperback
4 people found this helpful
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
Jay Lukas
5.0 out of 5 starswould recommend to any book nerd or lover of reading
10 September 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
B. America
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat entertaining-type of book
1 April 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Mark L. Berry
4.0 out of 5 starsFun Stuff
12 December 2009 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Theatre Misfit
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliance!!
13 April 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Pamela Scott
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat collection of stories
27 March 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition