Greetings from Lake Wu: A story collection

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Jay Lake Greetings from Lake WuGreetings from Lake Wu by Jay Lake

Greetings from Lake Wu is a collaboration between Jay Lake and Frank Wu, with the former writing the short stories and the latter illustrating them. Wu’s art can be found preceding each story (there are 13 in this collection) and his style has an old-school feel to it. Lake, on the other hand, struts his early work here and I find it amusing that the book begins and ends with stories that have a similar title (“The Courtesy of Guests” and “The Passing of Guests” respectively) and feature the same set of characters. As far as the fiction goes, most of the stories have a sci-fi angle and while Lake writes them competently, only a few possessed the impact I was expecting from Jay Lake (but those that do pack a wallop).

Having said that, here are my favorite three stories: “Jack’s House” stands out the most to me, in part due to its accessibility and the mythic scope it encompasses. Rats, cats, and dogs are all involved in a war and the story works on many levels.

“The Angle of My Dreams” on the other hand succeeds because of Lake’s strong grasp of character and this story easily had me sympathizing with the protagonist. I was almost crying by the time I reached the end.

“Glass: A Love Story” is one of those weird tales that only speculative fiction can deliver. It promises on the romance, but in an unexpected manner, and was quite an adventurous trip.

One complaint I have about Greetings from Lake Wu is with its production quality. At least in the case of my copy, the ink was smudging, either on my fingers or on the opposite page, so I felt like I had to read the entire book before the text faded before my eyes. Aside from that, Greetings from Lake Wuis a decent collection of short stories that gains bonus points if you enjoy Wu’s art style.
FanLit thanks Charles Tan from Bibliophile Stalker for contributing this guest review.

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CHARLES TAN, one of our guest reviewers, is the owner of the blogs Bibliophile Stalker and Comic Quest. He also edits Philippine Speculative Fiction. You can read his fiction in that publication and in The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories. Charles has conducted interviews for The Nebula Awards and The Shirley Jackson Awards, as well as for online magazines such as SF Crowsnest and SFScope. He is a regular contributor to sites like SFF Audio and Comics Village.

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