Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History Paperback – January 30, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Long Hidden was of fairly average quality when it came to short story collections. There’s a number of stories I liked, a lot that left me cold, and a few that I struggled with. I doubt it will take long for me to forget the vast majority of the stories in Long Hidden. The one exception is my favorite story of the collection, Ken Liu’s “Knotting Grass, Holding Ring,” a dark tale of two women struggling to survive as their city is invaded. For all its brutality, “Knotting Grass, Holding Ring” also managed to create some beauty.
“Free Jim’s Mine” by Tananrive Due is a very well constructed story of a runaway slave in the American South and her Cherokee husband. I’ll admit that I was apathetic for most of the story, but the twist at the end adds some intriguing layers to this tale.
There were actually a large number of other stories also set in the US or Canada, twelve in total out of twenty-seven stories. There were also five more stories set in Western Europe, giving the overall collection a greater focus on the West than I expected. While other stories did range across Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia, I would have preferred for them to make up a greater segment of the collection.
Other stories I enjoyed include “The Colts” by Benjamin Parzybok, where executed Hungarian peasants rise from the grave. “A Wedding in Hungry Days” by Nicolette Barischoff tells of the marriage between a lonely dead girl and a lonely living boy in rural China. “Each Part Without Mercy” by Meg Jayanth is set in India during 1746 and follows a girl whose dreams lend themselves to an unusual purpose. “Diyu” by Robert William Iveniuk adds a bit of science fiction to the collection with a Buddhist monk working on a railroad in Canada having an alien encounter.
The only story I skipped was “Jooni” by Emba Banton. I read the first few pages but wasn’t feeling it. There were only a couple of other stories that I actually disliked. “Ffydd (Faith)” by S. Lynn was confusing and meandering, and I don’t understand why it was included in the first place. “Marigolds” by L. S. Johnson was mentioned on the back cover, and I was excited for it going in. A f/f romance in revolutionary France! Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The speculative element didn’t seem well thought out, I didn’t buy the connection between the two women, and I was put off by what I interpreted as an attempt at a love spell.
I was excited about the inclusion of interior illustrations, but I found most of those to be disappointing as well. But at least the cover art is gorgeous. I do want to note that I hated the formatting of the paperback copy I read. There were practically no margins, and it made it very difficult to read. If you’re going to read this collection, I’d suggest trying to get an ebook copy instead.
There is violence and terror in this book, but there's also love of family, of finding your own people, and a stubborn sense of self that refuses to give in and bow to other people's demands.
The nature of an anthology is such that it's hard for every story to please everyone. I could read many of the stories forever, and then there were a few that were good, but just not for me. That's the only reason I'm giving it four stars instead of five. Four and a half, really. Read it. It's great!
I particularly love the post-WWI story set in Wales - it's pretty early in the book and is just the sweetest thing.
The first thing potential readers should know about this anthology is that “Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History” doesn’t simply mean, as I'd hoped, that it’s a collection of stories with settings rarely featured in English-language fiction. In fact, 10 of the stories are set in the U.S., and two more in Canada. Instead, it features characters marginalized within their own societies – whether they’re escaped slaves, orphans raised as servants in brothels, or transgender immigrants – and the stories are all about marginalization and oppression. As such, they’re unrelentingly grim, with a remarkably similar tone throughout. Almost all feature the death of a major character – be they only 8 pages long – not infrequently the protagonist. Most involve war or rebellion, from the perspective of a character who’s powerless.
In other words, this collection embodies what many who only read white men wrongly assume diverse fiction (particularly by authors of color) is like: grim, tragic, message-driven works about oppression that seem more like taking your medicine than enjoyable reading. Very few novels are actually like that (a novel has the space to develop many ideas and experiences), but the compressed format of a short story – especially with many talented but inexperienced authors writing on a single theme – lends itself to one-note works.
The inexperience of the authors is worth addressing, because after awhile I noticed that the stories by established authors (Sofia Samatar, Tananarive Due) were more memorable and interesting than the others. Of the 27, only 6 had published novels at the time of their inclusion in this collection (7 if you count one whose novels were co-written). Yes, short fiction is a way for new authors to break in, but the unusual preponderance of less experienced writers may explain why so many of the stories feel so similar, despite being technically proficient: the authors hadn’t yet established their voices and stuck closely to the prompt instead.
However, it is worth noting that with few exceptions, the stories are quite well-written, and their breadth in terms of location and character diversity is certainly encouraging. There are such great ideas here that I'm sorry not to have enjoyed it. It is overall a promising group of authors, and some of my negative reaction is likely based on publishing decisions beyond their control. Multi-author anthologies tend to be rocky reading generally, since one can never settle in to a particular style or group of characters. And the formatting, with large pages covered in text and very narrow margins, tends to make the stories feel dense even when they aren’t. I wouldn’t rule out any authors based on this anthology, and I hope they will go on to publish novels with equally diverse settings and characters, but also with some room for lightness and fun. As for this collection, I'm glad many have loved it, but it's not one I'll recommend to friends – especially those I’m trying to expose to more diverse works.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Setting aside the familiar generals and princesses and other powerful, leader-ly characters means...Read more