My first experience with Maureen McHugh's writing was China Mountain Zhang, which I picked up off the stacks of the Newport Beach public library about ten years ago. How many award-winning science fiction books are there about gay asian men? Not many, I'll tell you. I was smitten. The skill with which China Mountain Zhang is written was rewarded by a Huga, a Nebula nomination, the Tiptree award, a Locus Award, and others, as well as my undying devotion and a sincere girl crush.
I've been longing to read this collection of short stories, Mothers and Other Monsters since I saw her read from it at the Science Fiction Museum last month. Some of them are paranormal. Some are science fiction. Most are about families and relationships that seem so real they almost walk off the page. With a bonus kick in the gut. At the end of almost every story in this collection I had to close the book, put it down, and recover before going on to the next.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.