A new collection from the author of Nebula Award winning A Song for a New Day and Philip K Dick Award winning Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea.
A half-remembered children's TV show. A hotel that shouldn't exist. A mysterious ballad. A living flag. Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Sarah Pinsker's second collection brings together a seemingly eclectic group of stories that unite behind certain themes: her touchstones of music and memory are joined by stories about secret subversions and hidden messages in art. Her stories span and transcend genre labels, looking for the truth in strange situations from possible futures to impossible pasts.
Two Truths and a Lie That Our Flag Was Still There I Frequently Hear Music in the Very Heart of Noise The Boy Who Will Become Court Magician Everything is Closed Today Left the Century to Sit Unmoved Escape from Caring Seasons A Better Way of Saying Remember This for Me The Mountains His Crown Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather Science Facts!
Sarah Pinsker's first novel, A Song For A New Day, won the Nebula Award, and her first short fiction collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea won the Philip K Dick Award. She is also a singer/songwriter who toured nationally behind four albums on various independent labels. She has wrangled horses, managed grants, taught writing to college students, and tended bar badly. She lives with her wife and two rescued terriers in Baltimore, Maryland. Find her online at sarahpinsker.com and on Twitter @sarahpinsker.
“Pinsker’s characters always make the best of tricky situations, which only makes their struggles in her topsy-turvy worlds more heartbreaking. Some the stories in Lost Places are unsettling: There are swimming holes that make people disappear, and a sinister version of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood whose host tells stories that warp the fates of the children in his studio audience. But there are also stirring tales of rebellion, in which ordinary people escape from confinement, organize their neighbors to protest injustice and speak out against abuses.” — Charlie Jane Anders, Washington Post
"Loss has infinite meanings in Sarah Pinsker’s second short fiction collection (after Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea), detailing characters’ escapes within and from eerie childhood TV shows ('Two Truths and a Lie'), the modern liner notes of a song lyrics website ('Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather'), and silent films ('A Better Way of Saying'). Gathering wildly inventive speculative tales published everywhere from Uncanny to Strange Horizons to Tor.com, Lost Places also invites readers to immerse themselves in a brand-new story: 'Science Facts!', which recalls childhood Girl Scout trips where you were certain that there was something beyond spooky lurking in the woods. — Natalie Zutter, LitHub
"Contagious enthusiasm for story." — Gary K. Wolfe, Locus
“Pinsker’s latest collection includes her Hugo Award–winning story ‘Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather,’ a folklore-esque mystery told through the annotations and comment chains of a song-lyrics website, and new story ‘Science Facts!’ in which a group of girls on an orienteering trip step into a forest that holds some eerie secrets. . . . These stories are inspired by the rhythms of jazz, the inspiration behind art, the power of speaking aloud. It’s a worthy follow-up to her first short story collection that fans of Charlie Jane Anders and Sarah Gailey will enjoy.” — Leah von Essen, Booklist (starred review)
"This remarkable collection of 12 speculative shorts from Pinsker (Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea) places celebrated favorites and hidden gems side by side. The volume is nearly bookended by two of the author’s best known and most lauded works: the deliciously unsettling opener “Two Truths and a Lie” and the formally playful penultimate tale “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather,” both of which won both Hugo and Nebula awards.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A collection of sometimes-unsettling tales that champion the power of the individual voice. . . . All together, these stories explore the aspects of our world that can’t be reduced to algorithms—the individual voice, the power of connection, and the larger, stranger mysteries we may encounter but never fully understand. . . . strange, sometimes haunting, and ultimately empowering stories." — Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea
“Compelling science fiction and fantasy stories, many featuring LGBTQIA characters, some about music. Anyone with a common name will appreciate this collection’s culminating story, ‘And Then There Were (N-One).’” — Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, Best Books of 2019
“When I got to the last page I was already looking forward to rereading them. Highly recommended.”— Charles de Lint, The Magazine Of Fantasy and Science Fiction
“Compelling science fiction and fantasy.” — Des Moines Register
“Sarah Pinsker’s debut short story collection is speculative and
strange, exploring such wide-ranging scenarios as a young man receiving a
prosthetic arm with its own sense of identity, a family welcoming an AI
replicate of their late Bubbe into their home, or an 18th century
seaport town trying to survive a visit by a pair of sirens — all while
connecting them in a book that feels cohesive. The stories are
insightful, funny, and imaginative, diving into the ways humans might
invite technology into their relationships.” — Arianna Rebolini, BuzzFeed
“This was my first time reading Pinsker, and she BLEW MY MIND. . . .
These 13 stories are wildly original and, frankly, jaw-dropping. A man’s
new prosthetic arm dreams that it is a road in Colorado; the dream
children of childless parents sun themselves on the rocks like seals; a
rock star washes up on an island, where she is rescued by a recluse. So.
Many. Amazing. Stories. My favorite might be the last story, in which a
bunch of Sarah Pinskers attend a writer’s conference, where one of them
is murdered. Every story was unlike anything I had read before, as well
as smart and fun, which is everything I want from a story collection.
RUN, DON’T WALK.” —Liberty Hardy, Bookriot
“Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea cannot be
recommended enough for fans of LGBT+ sci-fi and fantasy. Pinsker’s
collection has such a range and depth to it storytelling and emotional
resonance that the reader will be left in complete awe after reading any
chosen story.”— Alexander Carrigan, Lambda Literary
“One of the year’s most anticipated collections is even better than advertised.” — Joe Sherrry, Nerds of a Feather
“A must-have first collection.” — Rich Horton, Locus
“A voice resonant with feeling and desire.” — Gary K. Wolfe, Locus
“This collection from an exciting new voice in speculative fiction is both haunting and hopeful.” — Booklist (starred review)
“This beautiful, complex debut collection assembles some of Nebula winner Pinsker’s best stories into a twisting journey that is by turns wild, melancholic, and unsettling.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A collection whose musing visions none should try to resist.” — Foreword Reviews (starred review)