fter the Dragons is quiet, thoughtful, and, above all, kind. It’s not easy to do right by one another, especially when we’re put in hard places without clear answers. Death, and how we face it, matters.
Author Archives: Christine Sandquist
Building Beyond: I Was Featured on Sarah Gailey’s Newsletter!
Sarah Gailey invited me to participate in their newsletter as part of their Building Beyond series, which consists of a collection of worldbuilding prompts answered by various writers and fans. I had a ton of fun writing about the prompt, and I wanted to share it with you all here too in case you missedContinue reading “Building Beyond: I Was Featured on Sarah Gailey’s Newsletter!”
A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
Josh Malerman does an excellent job at developing creepy, uncanny atmospheres. The House at the Bottom of a Lake excels at just that. Although I found the characters a bit flat and difficult to become invested in, I was thoroughly drawn in by their exploration of the strange, underwater house they discover. Locked doors, strange noises, and clothes floating through the water where no current should be all come together to create a read that will keep you on edge.
Composite Creatures by Caroline Hardaker
Melancholy and compelling, Caroline Hardaker has captured the narrow wistfulness of self-inflicted isolation. As we draw ourselves away from the world, tuck ourselves into the warmth of our four encroaching walls, it becomes harder and harder to connect with anything and anyone that exists outside ourselves. We chain our doors, check the locks, and keep ourselves in as much as we keep others out. While this is not a book about pandemics, or plagues, or even about quarantines, it nevertheless manages to invoke a sense of catharsis in relation to current events.
Advanced Word Problems in Portal Math by Aimee Picchi
It is 7 p.m. on a snowy January evening, and Penny is a 13-year-old who likes fruity lip balms, wears leggings, and notices everything, like how she’s expected to wash the dishes but her older brother is excused to finish his homework.
Open House on Haunted Hill by John Wiswell
133 Poisonwood Avenue would be stronger if it was a killer house. There is an estate at 35 Silver Street that annihilated a family back in the 1800s and its roof has never sprung a leak since. In 2007 it still had the power to trap a bickering couple in an endless hedge maze that was physically only three hundred square feet. 35 Silver Street is a show-off.
The Apothecary & The Carpenter’s Son by Johannes T. Evans
This particular microfiction is a short, sweet love story between a talkative, caring carpenter’s son and a nonverbal apothecary. Each day, the carpenter’s son visits the taciturn apothecary to pick up ointments and remedies for his father. Each day, he grows slightly more attached to the friendly, hardworking man.
Finding What Was Meaningful – a 2020 Retrospective
I started a “Best of 2020” list. Then, I started over. I scrapped it. Started again. I looked through my books, ran my fingers down their spines, and tried once more. I threw together a spreadsheet from Goodreads, sorted it by date, then by rating, then by author. Deleted it in frustration when the books didn’t feel the way I needed them to. I couldn’t do it.
Does The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks Hold Up to a Modern Reading?
Within the context of its time, The Player of Games is a shockingly progressive novel. Given that it was written at the height of the AIDS epidemic, I’m impressed that Ian M. Banks chose to deliberately and consciously include queer themes and explicitly endorse homosexuality as something that is not just okay, but also aContinue reading “Does The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks Hold Up to a Modern Reading?”
My Country Is a Ghost by Eugenia Triantafyllou
When Niovi tried to smuggle her mother’s ghost into the new country, she found herself being passed from one security officer to another, detailing her mother’s place and date of death over and over again.
“Are you carrying a ghost with you, ma’am?” asked the woman in the security vest. Her nametag read Stella. Her lips were pressed in a tight line as she pointed at the ghost during the screening, tucked inside a necklace. She took away Niovi’s necklace and left only her phone.