#84 in my book challenge for the year, Mothers and Other Monsters was recommended at Blog of a Bookslut. It is a collection of speculative short fiction by McHugh, a much-awarded speculative fiction writer who has formerly published novels. There are stories about Alzheimer’s, ghosts, parents and children, other worlds, and werewolves. What is most impressive about this collection is its strong writing across a huge variety of settings and topics. I usually prefer novels to short stories, but this collection kept me engaged, and better yet, it made me think.
The collection included excerpts from two of McHugh’s novels, Mission Child and Nekropolis, the former of which I’ve read. I liked but didn’t love it when I did; I remember it as distant and chilly–not emotionally engaged. Reading the segment, here, though, made me want to revisit it. I wasn’t as drawn in by the segment from Nekropolis, a more recent novel that got many impressive reviews.