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Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen

Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen

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4.11

(262)
|Views: 968 |Likes:
Published by Gavin Grant
These eleven extraordinary stories are quirky, spooky, and smart. They all have happy endings. Every story contains a secret prize. Each story was written especially for you.

Stories from Stranger Things Happen have won the Nebula, Tiptree, and World Fantasy Award. Stranger Things Happen was a Salon Book of the Year, one of the Village Voice's 25 Favorite Books of 2001, and was nominated for the Firecracker Alternative Book Award.

"Kelly Link's collection of stories, Stranger Things Happen, really scores."
-- Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Magazine

"Sinister. Dreamy. Supernatural.... Link blends myths, ghosts and alien landscapes with a healthy ladle of modern life for stories that at first confound but eventually order themselves into a titillating weirdness."
-- The Miami Herald

"Sly and charming, tart and wise."
— San Francisco Chronicle

Kelly Link's (www.kellylink.net) debut collection Stranger Things Happen (as is her second collection, Magic for Beginners) is available for as a free download in various completely open formats with no Digital Rights Management (DRM) strings attached. It is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5) license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any noncommercial manner. The book is provided below in these formats: Text file, HTML, rtf, and lo-res PDF.

For more formats, please go to:
http://lcrw.net/cc/#link1

Purchasing links are here: http://lcrw.net/kellylink/sth/

And, if you like it, please pass it on.

Thanks for reading.
These eleven extraordinary stories are quirky, spooky, and smart. They all have happy endings. Every story contains a secret prize. Each story was written especially for you.

Stories from Stranger Things Happen have won the Nebula, Tiptree, and World Fantasy Award. Stranger Things Happen was a Salon Book of the Year, one of the Village Voice's 25 Favorite Books of 2001, and was nominated for the Firecracker Alternative Book Award.

"Kelly Link's collection of stories, Stranger Things Happen, really scores."
-- Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Magazine

"Sinister. Dreamy. Supernatural.... Link blends myths, ghosts and alien landscapes with a healthy ladle of modern life for stories that at first confound but eventually order themselves into a titillating weirdness."
-- The Miami Herald

"Sly and charming, tart and wise."
— San Francisco Chronicle

Kelly Link's (www.kellylink.net) debut collection Stranger Things Happen (as is her second collection, Magic for Beginners) is available for as a free download in various completely open formats with no Digital Rights Management (DRM) strings attached. It is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5) license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any noncommercial manner. The book is provided below in these formats: Text file, HTML, rtf, and lo-res PDF.

For more formats, please go to:
http://lcrw.net/cc/#link1

Purchasing links are here: http://lcrw.net/kellylink/sth/

And, if you like it, please pass it on.

Thanks for reading.

More info:

Publish date: Jul 1, 2001
Added to Scribd: Feb 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

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08/21/2013

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1. About
Stranger Things Happen
by Kelly Link2. Creative Commons License Summary:
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5
3. Creative Commons Full License
4. Stranger Things HappenStranger Things Happen
Kelly Linkinfo@lcrw.netPublished by Small Beer Press July 2001ISBN: 1931520135http://www.kellylink.netSome Rights ReservedAward-winning author Kelly Link’s debut collection takes fairy talesand cautionary tales, dictators and extraterrestrials, amnesiacs andhoneymooners, revenants and readers alike, on a voyage into new,strange, and wonderful territory. The girl detective must go to theunderworld to solve the case of the tap-dancing bank robbers. Alibrarian falls in love with a girl whose father collects articial noses.A dead man posts letters home to his estranged wife. Two womennamed Louise begin a series of consecutive love affairs with a stringof cellists. A newly married couple become participants in an apoc-alyptic beauty pageant. Sexy blond aliens invade New York City. Ayoung girl learns how to make herself disappear.These eleven extraordinary stories are quirky, spooky, and smart.They all have happy endings. Every story contains a secret prize.Each story was written especially for you.Stories from
Stranger Things Happen
have won the Nebula, Tiptree, andWorld Fantasy Awards.
Stranger Things Happen
was a Salon Book of the Year, one of the Village Voice’s 25 Favorite Books of 2001, and
 
was nominated for the Firecracker Alternative Book Award.
Stranger Things Happen
is being released as a Free Download underCreative Commons license on July 1, 2005, to celebrate the publica-tion of Kelly Link’s second collection,
Magic for Beginners.
If all goesas planned Magic for Beginners will be released on September 15,2005 (when all the rights have reverted to the author).This book is governed by Creative Commons licenses that permitits unlimited noncommercial redistribution, which means that you’rewelcome to share them with anyone you think will want to see them.If you do something with the book you think we’d be interested inplease email (info@lcrw.net) and tell us.Thank you for reading.
 
Creative Commons License Summary:
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5You are free:
* to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work* to make derivative works
Under the following conditions:Attribution
. You must attribute the work in the manner specied by theauthor or licensor.
Noncommercial
. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
Share Alike
. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may dis-tribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.* For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others thelicense terms of this work.* Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permissionfrom the copyright holder.
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5
CREATIVE COMMONS CORPORATION IS NOT A LAW FIRMAND DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES. DISTRIBUTIONOF THIS LICENSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. CREATIVE COMMONS PROVIDESTHIS INFORMATION ON AN “AS-IS” BASIS. CREATIVECOMMONS MAKES NO WARRANTIES REGARDING THEINFORMATION PROVIDED, AND DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FORDAMAGES RESULTING FROM ITS USE.
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 THE WORK (AS DEFINED BELOW) IS PROVIDED UNDER THETERMS OF THIS CREATIVE COMMONS PUBLIC LICENSE(“CCPL” OR “LICENSE”). THE WORK IS PROTECTED BY

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reading_fox reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Meh.Weird sf short stories. OK ish but nothing special. Few of them worked well, although a couple were creepy ish. Mostly they just stopped without any form of resolution. There appeared to be nothing linking the stories together other than that the author had written them. Not memorable after a couple of days, other than that I wasn't impressed and kept putting the book down mid story to find something esle to do. Which for a short story collection is quite bad.
kinsey_m reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This is the third short story collection by Kelly Link that I have read, although it seems to be the first one she published. This fact can be percieved in the uneven quality of the stories. Link's stories, when they work, are little gems, absolutely perfect. When they don't they are either still pretty good or sometimes they just don't work. In this collection, the proportion of "just don't work" was much higher than in her other collections, but it shouldn't be surprising that as a writer gains experience her work improves. Still, some amazingly good stories could be found in this collection:Vanishing act, Most of my friends are 2/3 water and Louise's ghost, The Specialist hat (which I had already read in Pretty Monsters) and still, Kelly Link has become one of my favourite authors.
freddlerabbit reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I bought this book as part of a Humble Bundle (a bundle of books, pay what you want, electronic delivery), and after reading the first story, I wished that I had given more money for the package; a good summation of how I feel about it.Like fairy tales, these short stories take the supernatural for granted - each one has magical components that the characters accept as natural, while responding to the particulars of their situations. I think this is the sort of thing that can tend to get repetitive and predictable after a while. But Link has enough edginess to keep the stories from being saccharine and maintain interest all the way through, and I finished this book and was ready for her next. I should think many short story readers will enjoy this collection, as well as readers who might like to venture out in new directions.
montoure reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I'm so glad I listened to all the friends who told me I needed to read this book. Kelly Link shares stories that unfold like dreams, could be classed as urban fantasy or magical realism, but that really just stand apart as a genre unto themselves, leaving the reader without the comfort of the familiar. These stories have stayed in my head long after I actually read the book, creeping back into my conscious thoughts like a memory of an uncertain encounter.
phoebesmum reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Short stories, beautifully written, but with a tendency to go nowhere. There are a number that are based on legend and fairytale - 'The Snow Queen', 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' and the Greek pantheon - which worked better for me than the ones based on original ideas. Maybe I just like knowing what to expect.
kayla3marie reviewed this
Rated 2/5
The title of this book isn't very apt. I've never happened across anything stranger than the stories that I read in this collection. I couldn't wrap my head around them. After the third story, I just gave up. Usually I love surreal and weird stories, but these were just too much for me.
calmclam_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Beautiful and entertaining, there are some really wonderful stories here. I'm not sure what genre to call it--magic realism?--but she delves into romance, horror, and comedy.
debnance_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
A book of surreal short stories that would vie with Hurakami for the strangest stories I’ve ever read. Unlike Hurakami, however, there is no Kafkaesque feeling of alienation; the odd people in these stories seem generally content with the craziness of their lives. What kind of stories are these? Here’s a list from the back cover: “The girl detective must go to the underworld to solve the case of the tap-dancing bank robbers. A librarian falls in love with a girl whose father collects artificial noses. A dead man posts letters home to his estranged wife. Two women named Louise begin a series of consecutive love affairs with a string of cellists….”Sometimes, when I read odd stories like these, I get the feeling the author is just trying to be weird in order to be weird. I didn’t feel that way while reading this book. Reading the stories felt like the author was relating them exactly as he’d seen them in a vision or a dream. I’d have to say that even though I read all the way to the end I’m not sure how much I took away from the book. I didn’t remember any of the details of the book until I looked over the story titles.
alana_leigh_6 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
If you suspect that you might be an ordinary person, one without creativity or imagination... well, then Stranger Things Happen might not appeal to you to begin with, but it certainly won't make you feel any better about your imaginative state. Even if you think you are a fairly creative person, it's hard to believe that you could come close the level of the fantastic and fascinating that Kelly Link achieves in these eleven short stories. A strange combination of fantasy and very modern reality, Link's collection features stories that don't necessarily always work perfectly, but are certainly memorable.As far as the collection goes, these stories are all linked by fairy tales (or mythology) undercurrents and an ethereal tone where the reader understands that not all is as it seems... and the fact that in each of these stories, very real characters (in perhaps not so realistic settings) deal with personal pain and try to somehow make a connection to someone else. On the back cover of my paperback, Andrew O'Hehir is quoted from his NY Times Book Review article as saying that Link's stories "aren't linked to one another, at least not in the sense that they share settings or characters, but they all draw water from the same clear, cold, deep well." I find that to be a profoundly excellent way of explaining the feeling that one is left with at the end of the collection. Not quite ghost stories in a sense of horror, but certainly some blend of Gothic fantasy that yield goosebumps and an eerie atmosphere.Link is a good example of the post-modern storyteller struggling to find a narrative structure that works for each tale, and as a result, few of these pieces are straightforward narratives. I tended to find that the more straightforward stories (well, as straightforward as Link gets) are the ones that I liked a bit more -- I was able to spend more time thinking about the characters and events and less in decoding her narrative intentions/figuring what she was trying to do by mixing things up so completely. (I'm mostly thinking about "The Girl Detective" as I say that, the last in the collection and, for me, the least satisfying.) There is, however, always a way to connect emotionally with these characters, for no matter how strange the circumstances of the story, it's the deeper emotions that make up the truly compelling foundation of each one.It's hard to pick a favorite -- and harder to single one out as being the most memorable -- but if I had to, I think I would go with "Travels with the Snow Queen" as the one I enjoyed most in the collection. Of course, I also feel that might be my shortfalls as a reader, because I found it very easy to relate to that narrator. As a young woman coming to terms with a failed relationship, she walks a path shown in the scars of her shoeless feet and whether she must stick to this path becomes an overpowering question. The reader is led to question the sacrifices of heroines in fairy tales and wonder if the traditional happily ever after with a "hero" is quite worth it or if the heroine might be just as happy pursing some other path. A close second is "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," where a probably dead man exists in a somewhat limbo-like seaside resort, writing letters to his wife, whose name he cannot remember. The uncertainty of his situation and his clinging to what he believes he knows about his wife and their life paints a very poignant picture. As the first story in the book, it drew me in and assured that I would keep reading. "Flying Lessons" draws heavily on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice (and even a bit of Icarus), but with some swapped gender roles, one feels a greater strength in the heroine so that ultimate happiness might just be possible. (Of course, there's also the looming idea of what happens then, but one must first get to the point where one can seriously ask that question). "Survivor's Ball, or, the Donner Party" features two Americans, strangers, that have decided to travel through New Zealand together for a bit. The narrator is a young man, obviously smitten with his traveling companion, and the girl is named Serena -- which led to me explicitly picturing Blake Lively in the role (as her character in Gossip Girl is also a selfish girl named Serena who easily attracts men and always gets her somewhat self-destructive way). They're driving towards a particular hotel and the news is filled with talk over a missing party of hikers in a snowstorm. Clearly, we understand some implications that are drawn with the title, though the lack of specificity in the story allows the reader to imagine all kinds of interesting results. In "Vanishing Act," a young girl is the only one paying close enough attention to watch her cousin slowly disappear (and aid her in that process) so she can rejoin her parents in faraway countries. One feels pain for this forgotten child, but even more painful is the situation of her cousin, watching a girl who seems to have some power to escape, whereas the cousin is stuck where she is, undeniably corporeal. "Water off a Black Dog's Back" features a strange relationship between a young man whose relationship with a girl and her family seems to involve some bodily sacrifice and an acceptance of whatever nonhuman nature they might possess. "Shoes and Marriage" features for vignettes that focus on variations of Cinderella, a beauty pageant and Dorothy/her companions, Imelda Marcos (a dictator's wife hoards the shoes of the people her husband has killed), and a fortune-teller's predictions. With a common theme of shoes (and, well, marriage), I enjoyed all of the vignettes, but I'm not sure how well the piece worked as a whole. I didn't much enjoy "Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water," where the narrator is hopelessly in love with a friend that doesn't think much of her at all, beyond her usefulness as a person who will listen to him. He's too preoccupied with the question of whether the women in the world are turning into aliens. "Louise's Ghost" deals with two best friends named Louise, which made things challenging, but interesting, as Link was able to really play with the question of where they blended into the other and where they were decidedly distinct. "The Girl Detective" touches upon the fairy tale of the twelve dancing princesses and the idea of lost mothers. Unwittingly, I seem to have found an order of my favorites in this collection by describing them, but I'm also struck with the fact that, even though I had to look for some exact titles, I was able to remember every single story in the series without forgetting a one.I took my time in reading Stranger Things Happen, keeping it for subway rides so I could swallow it in small bites and frequently pause to consider the ideas at play. At moments, I would have no idea where Link was taking us or why -- and at others, I felt profoundly moved. I'm fairly sure that some alchemy is at play in her words where it's possible for two people to read the exact same Link story and yet come out with completely different experiences and understandings of what happened. Link trusts the reader to draw his or her own conclusions, and often, that's what yields a spookier result. She's not afraid of open-ended ideas that have no precise answer. Several stories end without a single resolution, and so the reader is left to imagine all kinds of results. While the stories themselves might be open for interpretation, I find that one thing is certain: Kelly Link is a master of the short story.
rampaginglibrarian reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Very interesting, almost Shirley Jacksonesque, in her own kind of way

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