White Time - Margo Lanagan 4.5 starsAlso reviewed at Shelf Inflicted Anthologies are fun to read because they feature a wide variety of authors and styles. With their hit-or-miss qualities, however, they can also end up being disappointing. If I run into a real dud of a story, do I set the book aside and pick up something else or skip the story and continue reading? I have several partially read anthologies just because that dud was stuck somewhere in the middle. Short stories by one author are a little different. At least I can expect more consistency in quality. With Margo Lanagan, especially, I know I won’t get a dud. This is the third collection of stories I’ve read by her and all three times I’ve read the stories consecutively with hardly a break in between. Her writing is exquisite, rich and lovely, and the stories imaginative, moving and unsettling. I hope she plans to write forever!White TimeOne of my favorite stories in this collection is the very first one, White Time. Sheneel gets a taste of work experience, called “occupation tasting”. Her friends get to do something fun and undemanding while Sheneel gets the more fascinating job of redirecting entities that got caught in “white time” that netherworld between time periods. It’s work, so there are boring duties like number crunching and there are hazards involved. A haunting, thought-provoking story. 5/5DedicationAn engrossing little story that explores family relationships, death and grieving. 4/5Tell and KissIn Evan’s world it is not food that makes you gain weight, it is all the thoughts and feelings kept inside. Now at the end of his program, he has reached his goal weight. Will he be able to keep it off? 5/5The Queen’s NoticeA first-hand perspective of life in an ant colony. Will the queen get her mate? 3/5Big RageBillie is married to a total jerk who belittles her constantly and has to have the last word. While relaxing at the beach, she meets a wounded man in armor who is badly in need of help and in turn, he helps her unleash her pent-up emotions and anger toward her husband. I love stories about powerful women! 5/5“What comes out of me is fire. A roar of fire, a blast of fire, a curling, teeming, many-coloured chameleon-tongue of fire. It curves up the dune-side and scorches the scrub at the top. James’s spread hand, with the wedding ring on it, sticks out like a drowning man’s. He falls, he claws himself upright, he flounders flaming up over the dune-top and out of sight.”The Night LilyA sad and moving story which shows the effects of war on a group of children. 4/5The Boy Who Didn’t YearnTess Maxwell can read people. Their weaknesses, pain, emotions that are so apparent to her are not to others. Then she meets Keenoy Ribson, seemingly so happy with his life. How does he do it? 5/5Midsummer MissionCute, funny and full of love. 3/5Welcome BlueA quiet story about a girl who gets a job snipping flowers to welcome the arrival of a special visitor. Little about the visitor, but more about the town’s varying reactions. 4/5WealthIn this class-oriented world, it’s not about how much money you have, but how luxurious your hair is. Probably one of the most accessible stories in this collection, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. 5/5Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair