Thursday, May 21, 2009
I Loved Thy Creation by Maya Bohnhoff
This collection of short fiction is woven together by the theme that creation is driven by a pre-existing love of the creature and of the very act of creation itself.
The stories in this volume were originally published in the United States and in the United Kingdom in such magazines ans Analog Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Century and Interzone.
All the stories are speculative in nature, and range from science fiction to fantasy to magic realism. They are bound together by the fact that they contain references to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the form of inspiration, characters, and themes.
I Loved Thy Creation contains stories that made it to the major science fiction magazines, and it's easy to see why. Maya has a direct and engaging style, writing stories that are deep without being heavy-handed, complex without being convoluted, and always a good read. Even when my own experiences made it hard to believe the premise of the stories ("Hand Me Down Town" and "Heroes" come to mind), I enjoyed the stories and appreciated the sentiments behind them.
I Loved Thy Creation has a little for everyone. I enjoyed "Marsh Mallow" for its imaginative worldbuilding and well-thought out aliens; "A Tear in the Mind's Eye" makes a very sound case for genetics vs. environment in mental illness; and as a military wife and mother, the antics of the children in "Home is Where" made a good reminder that I need to pay attention to my kids' feelings about moving again!
Maya follows the Baha'i faith, and is quite frank in her introduction that these stories stem from her beliefs. Sometimes, her religion is central to the story, like in "The White Dog." Don't expect to find preaching, however; the faith in her stories flows very naturally. "The White Dog" made me tear up, so touching was the story. As the last story, it left me with a warm, satisfied, wistful feeling that
my favorite books usually do.
I've loved Maya's creations since she contributed "A Cruel and Unusual Punishment" to my anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God. I'm glad to see more of her stories brought together in a collection and I encourage sci-fi readers to check out I Have Loved Thy Creation.
To order: http://juxta.com/content/view/39/31/