Just the most basic book description should be enough to set some people running to their preferred purveyor of books to purchase this new title from Subterranean Press: “How the World Became Quiet: Myths of the Past, Present and Future is a collection of short stories by Rachel Swirsky.” Yep. That’ll do it for me.
If you follow short-form SF and fantasy at all, you’ll probably be familiar with the author’s name. If you’re like me, the possibility of owning a collection of her stories may send you into the same type of frenzied excitement most commonly seen in felines when people dangle catnip in front of their faces. (“Want. Want! Want NOW!”) And if you’re not familiar with the author yet, you’re in luck, because you can sample some of Swirsky’s finest work right here on Tor.com before (inevitably) purchasing the book. My personal favorite, out of the ones published on this site at least, is the stunning, Hugo-nominated “Eros, Philia, Agape.”
So, the abridged version of this review: I love this collection and recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who has an interest in intelligent, emotionally powerful and occasionally challenging short fiction. Not every story was a slam dunk for me, but taken as a whole, this is an excellent collection.