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Previous SFF Author: Fletcher Pratt

SFF Author: Tim (T.A.) Pratt

Tim PrattTim Pratt was born in Goldsboro, NC, and grew up in various places in the American South. He relocated to Northern California in 2001. His fiction has won a Hugo Award, and he’s been a finalist for Sturgeon, Stoker, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, World Fantasy, Scribe, and Nebula Awards, among others. His other books include three short story collections; a volume of poems; contemporary fantasy novels The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl and Briarpatch; gonzo historical The Constantine Affliction under the name T. Aaron Payton; fantasy roleplaying game tie-ins; and, as T.A. Pratt, eight books (and counting) about sorcerer Marla Mason. He occasionally edits anthologies, including the Rags and Bones anthology co-edited with Melissa Marr. He works as a senior editor for Locus magazine, and lives in Berkeley, CA, with his wife Heather and their son River.



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Little Gods: An elegant collection by Tim Pratt

Little Gods by Tim Pratt

A friend of mine simply adores Tim Pratt and so my curiosity was piqued when I saw this short story collection in the bookstore. Little Gods isn’t thick by any means (at under 300 pages) but it does include 14 short stories.

First off, I really, really love the book design. Second, the book has an introduction by Michaela Rossner, and then an afterword in which Tim Pratt talks about his stories. As for the stories themselves, the adjective that best describes them is “elegant.” Whether Pratt’s stories are very,


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Hart & Boot & Other Stories: By Tim Pratt

Hart & Boot & Other Stories by Tim Pratt

Tim Pratt’s second short story collection, Hart & Boot & Other Stories, features 13 stories that tackle various concepts and genres. While most of the stories still retain that mythology-inspired influence that is undeniably Pratt, they tend to have more closure compared to the stories in the previous collection. They’re nonetheless quick and easy reads, however, and anyone can get immersed in Pratt’s writing style.

Somehow, Tim Pratt manages to write stories called “Romanticore” and “Lachrymose and the Golden Egg” yet end up with a serious,


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Blood Engines: Recognizable, but distinctive, urban fantasy

Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt

On the surface, Blood Engines seems like any number of urban fantasy novels out there. Strong leading heroine? Check. Contemporary backdrop? Check. Supernatural action, sex, and sarcastic humor? Check, check, check.

Yet, Blood Engines has more going for it than you might think. For instance, in most of the urban fantasy series that I’ve read, the opening volume usually spends a lot of time on set-up and ends up leaving the reader with more questions than answers.


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Poison Sleep: Entertaining urban fantasy

Poison Sleep by T.A. Pratt

Urban fantasy is all the rage these days. While I’m concerned about the eventual over-saturation of the market, it’s definitely a good time to be a fan of the sub-genre, especially when writers like T.A. Pratt are given the chance to shine. Tim Pratt, the winner of the 2007 Hugo Award for the short story “Impossible Dreams,” also left a positive impression on me with his novel Blood Engines and its rewarding blend of wacky characters, comedy, supernatural action, and imagination.


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Heirs of Grace: Surprisingly satisfying and refreshing

Heirs of Grace by Tim Pratt

Independent, modern young woman narrates, in First Person Smartass, how she was just an ordinary person with an ordinary life who didn’t believe in the supernatural, but then it turned out that the supernatural believed in her, and around about the same time she met this guy…

There are hundreds of authors writing that exact book at the moment, many of them very badly; and when I see an instance of it, I usually move on, sometimes with an eye roll, to the next book in the hope of something I haven’t seen dozens of times before.


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Magazine Monday: Nightmare Magazine, January and February 2014

The January 2014 of Nightmare Magazine opens with “The Mad Butcher of Plainfield’s Chariot of Death” by Adam Howe. Gibbons is the proud owner of Eddie Gein’s car, a genuine relic of the murder on which Alfred Hitchcock based his movie Psycho. Gibbons has a carnival show built around the car, a regular “Disneyland from hell,” and he can’t figure why it isn’t the huge success he expected when he spent his inheritance from his mother on the thing. But not only don’t people flock to see his show with a two-bit carnival traveling from town to town;


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SHORTS: Pratt, Liu, Lee, Klages, Maberry

These are a few of the online short works we read this week. Our themes this week are libraries and books, mixed with some poison and zombies. As long as we keep the zombies and the poison out of the libraries, it’s all good.  

The Fairy Library by Tim Pratt (2013, free on Apex, Kindle magazine issue, also included in Antiquities and Tangibles and Other Stories by Tim Pratt)

When I realized I had,


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SHORTS: Slatter, Tolbert, Pratt, Pinkser

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

Finnegan’s Field by Angela Slatter (Jan. 2016, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle version)

This grim story of a mother’s love for her child taps into a rare feeling of collective folklore from a shared history. Finnegan’s Field is a dark fantasy tale about a missing girl returning home after having disappeared three years prior.


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SHORTS: Lee, Jones, Pratt, Skillingstead & Courtier

Our weekly sampling of free short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories that caught our attention this week. 

“The Pirate Captain’s Daughter” by Yoon Ha Lee (2009, free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

A female pirate captain sails the Unwritten Sea on her ship, the Improbable Dragon. Her crew includes her daughter, who is still unnamed despite growing into a young woman, for the Unwritten Sea has its laws and traditions, and a pirate must have the soul of a poet, and write a poem to the sea with enough power in it to move a ship.


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SHORTS: Gregory, Roanhorse, Vernon, Mamatas & Pratt, Clarke, Lowachee

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read recently that we wanted you to know about.

“Second Person, Present Tense” by Daryl Gregory (2005, free in print and audio at Clarkesworld, November 2017 issue; originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, September 2005 issue)

I love what Daryl Gregory does with drugs. “Second Person, Present Tense” is about the parents of a girl who died after overdosing on a drug called “Zen” or “Zombie.” Unable to cope with their loss,


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The Solaris Book of New Fantasy: Celebrates the rich diversity of the genre

The Solaris Book of New Fantasy by George Mann (ed.)

I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to short fiction. Because of my lack of experience in this area, I hope that you will bear with me as I try to provide a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, even if I don’t always succeed. The plan is to first look at each short story individually providing synopses and commentary, followed by my evaluation of the compilation as a whole. So, let’s look at the stories:

1) “Who Slays the Gyant,


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Sympathy for the Devil: A collection of bedtime stories

Sympathy for the Devil edited by Tim Pratt

Please allow me to introduce Sympathy for the Devil, a fine new anthology filled entirely with short stories about the devil… who is, as we all know, a man of style and taste. However, you won’t just find the smooth-talking stealer of souls here. In addition to that famous version of His Grand Infernal Majesty, you’ll also find funny devils, monstrous devils, abstract devils and strangely realistic ones. Devils scary and not-so-scary, devils who are after children’s souls and others going after old men.


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Mixed Up: Stories and cocktail recipes; both are intoxicating

Mixed Up edited by Nick Mamatas & Molly Tanzer

Mixed Up (2017) is an anthology of cocktail-themed flash fiction and cocktail recipes, edited by Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. The stories, like the drink recipes, are grouped by type and theme. I thought the editors took the most liberal view of “flash” here, because I think some of these works might run to 1200 words or slightly over, and I think of flash as topping out at 1,000 words. I don’t think there is a hard and fast threshold,


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Next SFF Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Previous SFF Author: Fletcher Pratt

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