It took a long time, but finally here is the first short story collection from Kij Johnson. There are 17 stories, and quite a few of them have won major science fiction awards. I really enjoyed this book. The best part about her writing is there’s always an undercurrent of mystery and things are never quite like they seem. Even though a few stories are weaker, there isn’t a clunker in the bunch.The themes of the stories show a wide range of topics. There’s a road trip, talking animals, a communication problem with an alien and 26 monkeys. The settings are remarkable while the story highlights the author’s vivid imagination, and there’s always a sense of the ordinary turned into the extraordinary.Some authors who put this much creativity into their writing might wind up with a chaotic, rambling tale with good ideas but not much of a story. This is never the case here. The ideas are far-fetched but always firmly rooted in reality with characters struggling to come to grips with the peculiar situation that affects them.Strongly recommended to all who enjoy science fiction especially those into tales which stretch the limits of imagination without leaving a sense of what the hell did I just read. Gets my vote for the best short story collection I’ve read this year.