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Kat Howard

Midweek Fiction: Eugie Foster, "Requiem Duet, Concerto for Flute and Voodoo"

Eugie Foster is one of the best writers of speculative short fiction currently working. She has great facility for language and structure, an ability to see beauty and terror in equal measure, and consistently crafts stories that are both harrowing and satisfying. Her fiction lingers in the mind of the reader long after the story is finished.

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A haunted Scooby gang

Anna Dressed in BloodI love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Love. It's one of my favorite shows, and I think it's fair to say that the show's influence on me has been profound. So when I tell you that Kendare Blake's excellent YA horror novel, Anna Dressed in Blood is Buffyesque, I hope you'll understand how much of a compliment I mean that to be.

One of the things I loved best about Buffy was the interaction between the Scooby gang. All of the characters were real, and their relationships with each other were as well. That central cohort of characters is the biggest thing that made me think "Buffy" when reading Anna Dressed in Blood. (Well, that and the presence of a minor character named Will Rosenberg.)

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Midweek Fiction: Stephen King, "Beachworld"

We haven't had science fiction here on Midweek Fiction in a while, and there may be some of you who, after reading this story of a shipwreck and a beach, say we still haven't. There may be some of you who say this story is horror. I know it leaves me unsettled.

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The Fantastic in the Fine Arts: "Joan"

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen's work was recently the subject of a glorious exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, entitled Savage Beauty. Elements of the fantastic ranging from the sublime to the grotesque can be found throughout his work, and many of his collections were directly inspired by works of the fantastic. It's Only a Game (spring/ summer 2005) was inspired by the wizard chess scene in the film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Eshu (autumn/ winter 2000-01) was inspired by the trickster god of the same name. McQueen also showed collections inspired by Dante, and by angels and demons.

This column focuses on a specific dress from McQueen's autumn/ winter 1998-99 collection, Joan, inspired by Joan of Arc. It is the final dress in the collection, a vivid reminder that it was a young French peasant named Jehanne, not Katniss Everdeen, who was the original girl on fire.

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Midweek Fiction: Catherynne M. Valente, "White Lines on a Green Field"

There is, perhaps, no story more thematically appropriate for a back to school week than the story of Coyote going to high school. And the state football championship. The fact that it is a great story is a bonus.

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