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Margo Lanagan


New Member
Just wanted to put in a word for Margo Lanagan. She combines fantasy, sci fi, and horror, with occasional social commentary, in YA short stories.

One of my favourites: 'Under Hell, Over Heaven' (in her Red Spikes collection): a group of teens are stuck in purgatory, couriers between paradise - longing fulfilled - and hell, pain unendurable yet to be endured, world without end. Those pious grandmothers were right all along about the afterlife: only their prayers can help you now.

In 'The Night Lily' (White Time) a boy laconically describes people trying to hold onto their decency and dignity as their city is slowly pounded to barbarity by relentless bombings and raids; the street names suggest it is, or was, a first-world city. The story includes gentle enigmatic elements too, and Lanagan described it as her favourite story in White Time, "because it still remains slightly mysterious to me".

I have not enjoyed all her work, but it includes masterpieces, served up with bitterness, cynicism, and cold fury.