The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe What lovely, lovely prose. About 2 chapters in, I thought the poetry of words sounded familiar, and indeed Kij Johnson wrote this most excellent debut novel: The Fox Woman and this excellent short: Ponies.

Opening scene: Women’s college, a student has run off with a boy. But not just any boy, he’s a Dreamer and he took the woman to the Waking World, AKA earth. For the good of hte college, and spoilers but it gets more important than that, Prof Vellit Boe has to fetch her back. The journey will take her far and wide, and meet various former lovers…

When the professor reaches the student, you would think there are a limited set of options: Stay or return? But no. There is a surprise. NOW I WANT A SEQUEL. YOU CANNOT STOP THERE, KIJ JOHNSON.

This book is a Lovecraft rewrite: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
Disclaimer: I have never read Lovecraft and don’t plan to. However, I have enjoyed enough Lovecraft-inspired modern books to recognize the furniture, so to speak.
Kij Johnson wonders, did the women in Lovecraft’s universe wonder where all the women were at?

In The Ballad of Black Tom , Victor LaValle wondered how a black man would manage in Lovecraft’s world.  In a surreal fashion, how else?

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