Kelly Link's picture

Kelly Link

USA flag (b.1969)

Kelly Link's story "Travels with the Snow Queen" won the James Tiptree Jr. Award in 1997. Her story "The Specialist's Hat" won the World Fantasy Award in 1999. She received her BA from Columbia University and her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She once won a free trip around the world. She co-edits the zine Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. She currently lives in Brooklyn. Stranger Things Happen is her first collection of stories.

Genres: Horror, Young Adult Fantasy
Anthology series
Anthologies edited
Anthologies containing stories by Kelly Link
Short stories
Travels with the Snow Queen (1997)World Fantasy (nominee)
The Specialist's Hat (1998)World Fantasy
The Girl Detective (1999)
Swans (2000)

World Fantasy Best Short Story winner (1999) : The Specialist's Hat
World Fantasy Best Short Story nominee (1999) : Travels with the Snow Queen
World Fantasy Best Collection nominee (2002) : Stranger Things Happen
World Fantasy Best Collection nominee (2006) : Magic for Beginners
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2016) : Get in Trouble

Kelly Link recommends
The Truth about Celia (2003)
Kevin Brockmeier
"Imagine I'm standing beside you in the bookstore. I'm putting this book in your hands. I loved The Truth About Celia: you should buy this book, take it home, and read it at once."
Mortal Love (2004)
Elizabeth Hand
"You don't so much read this novel as drink it down, like absinthe."
The Keeper (2006)
Sarah Langan
"THE KEEPER kept me up, late into the night...I'm hoping for a whole shelf of novels by Langan."
The Serial Garden (2008)
(Armitage Family)
Joan Aiken
"The best kind of writer, strange and spooky and surprising, never sentimental or whimsical."
Annihilation (2014)
(Southern Reach Trilogy, book 1)
Jeff VanderMeer
"A dazzling book . . . haunted and haunting."
The Lonely Hearts Hotel (2017)
Heather O'Neill
"A fairytale laced with gunpowder."
Things We Lost in the Fire (2017)
Mariana Enríquez
"These stories unsettle; they disturb; they disquiet. Read them!"
Broken River (2017)
J Robert Lennon
"J Robert Lennon is a master of the are dark arts."
Tropic of Kansas (2017)
Christopher Brown
"The great American novel about the end of America. This book is marvelously propulsive, big hearted, and whip smart."
Red Clocks (2018)
Leni Zumas
"Strange and lovely and luminous. I loved RED CLOCKS with my whole heart."
Bash Bash Revolution (2018)
Douglas Lain
"Lain's writing is unsettling, ferociously smart, and extremely addictive."
The Merry Spinster (2018)
Daniel M Lavery and Mallory Ortberg
"A collection of stories delectable, formidable, and nimble. As a fantasist and short story writer, Mallory Ortberg is without peer."
MEM (2018)
Bethany C Morrow
"An extraordinary and utterly compelling novel that deftly explores questions of memory, identity, and humanity while also introducing one of my favourite characters in a long time. I loved everything about MEM."
Confessions of the Fox (2018)
Jordy Rosenberg
"With adventure, wit, and a ferocious heart, Confessions of the Fox is an astonishing, bawdy, dazzling triumph of a book."
Half-witch (2018)
John Schoffstall
"A picaresque fantasy debut in the mode of L. Frank Baum, in which witches and magic and God and goblins populate a world that is possibly just next door to our own. Lizbet and the witch girl Strix are delightful company in which to set out on the road."
The Mere Wife (2018)
Maria Dahvana Headley
"Maria Dahvana Headley translates the excesses of contemporary life into the gloriously mythic. This is not just an old story in new clothes: this is a consciousness-altering mind trip of a book."
The New Me (2019)
Halle Butler
"THE NEW ME renders contemporary American life in such vivid, stinging color, that certain sentences are liable to give the reader a paper cut. But you'll want to keep on reading anyway. Halle Butler is terrific, and I loved this book."
The Silk Road (2019)
Kathryn Davis
"[Davis] is the kind of writer who makes me want to corner strangers on buses, so I can read whole paragraphs at them."
This Is How You Lose the Time War (2019)
Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
"If Iain M. Banks and Gerard Manley Hopkins had ever been able to collaborate on a science fiction project, well, it wouldn't be half as much fun as this novella by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. There is all the pleasure of a long series, and all the details of an much larger world, presented in miniature here."
The Absolute Book (2019)
Elizabeth Knox
"I love all of Elizabeth Knox’s books."
The City We Became (2019)
(Great Cities Trilogy, book 1)
N K Jemisin
"Jemisin is an absolute master."
A Song for a New Day (2019)
Sarah Pinsker
"An all-too plausible version of the apocalypse, rendered in such compelling prose that you won’t be able to put it down...a lively and hopeful look at how community and music and life goes on even in the middle of dark days and malevolent corporate shenanigans."
The Grace Year (2019)
Kim Liggett
"A dark fairy tale of a book that speaks to the time that we live in."
Ninth House (2019)
(Alex Stern, book 1)
Leigh Bardugo
"Ninth House is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. There’s so much magic here that you'll begin to feel it seeping into the room around you as you read, and characters so real you ’ll practically hear their voices in your ear. Leigh Bardugo has written a book so delicious, so twisty, and so immersive I wouldn’t blame you for taking the day off to finish it."
The Unwilling (2020)
(Barrier Lands, book 1)
Kelly Braffet
"A juggernaut of an epic fantasy novel with ingenious, thrilling twists and turns. Put this on the shelf beside Naomi Novik and George R. R. Martin. Kelly Braffet is a marvel and I'll read anything she writes."
The Anthill (2020)
Julianne Pachico
"As in all good ghost stories - and Pachico's The Anthill is superb - the haunting operates like a kind of blacklight, showing us how loss and trauma, invisible under ordinary circumstances, reverberate nevertheless through the life of an individual, a family, a country."
Flyaway (2020)
Kathleen Jennings
"A fairytale wrapped about in riddles and other thorny bits of enchantments and stories, but none of them quite like any you've heard before. Kathleen Jennings' prose dazzles, and her magic feels real enough that you might even prick your finger on it."
The Office of Historical Corrections (2020)
Danielle Evans
"A dazzling collection. Contemporary life in Danielle Evans's stories has a kind of incandescent and dangerous energy: even in moments of somberness or isolation, her characters crackle with heat, light, and self-awareness."
Tales from the Hinterland (2021)
(Hazel Wood)
Melissa Albert
"Lush and deliciously sinister fairytales to be consumed as greedily as Turkish delight or any fairy fruit. I loved these."
Folklorn (2021)
Angela Mi-Young Hur
"Vivid and delectable...[Hur is] at home working in the fertile territories of myths and fantastic...I loved this."
We Are Inevitable (2021)
Gayle Forman
"The fastest way to a girl’s heart is a novel set in a bookstore. I loved We Are Inevitable and its cast of characters (slightly damaged, a little shopworn, but never bargain-basement.) The only flaw: that Bluebird Books doesn’t exist in real life, and I can’t go there to browse."
The Woman in the Purple Skirt (2021)
Natsuko Imamura
"Delightful, droll, and menacing, this novel about a seemingly harmless obsession could be the love child of Eugene Ionesco and Patricia Highsmith."
Appleseed (2021)
Matt Bell
"Woven together out of the strands of myth, science fiction, and ecological warning, Matt Bell’s Appleseed is as urgent as it is audacious."
Build Your House Around My Body (2021)
Violet Kupersmith
"A heady, gothic, spellbinder of a book."
Summer in the City of Roses (2021)
Michelle Ruiz Keil
"A gorgeous, tender, warm-hearted reworking of mythic material that also feels resolutely set in the world that we live in."
The First Law of Thermodynamics (2021)
James Patrick Kelly
"James Patrick Kelly has written some of my very favorite short stories. As a matter of fact, I get anxious when I haven't read a Kelly story in a while. Can't we just clone him?"
Paris Is a Party, Paris Is a Ghost (2021)
David Hoon Kim
"The kind of book that holds you in a dream as you read it, intricate and frictionless and always marvelous. David Hoon Kim in his deep understanding of the strangeness of human experience and the connective bands between past, present, and future, belongs in the same company as writers like Emily St. John Mandel and Lauren Groff."
The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina (2021)
Zoraida Córdova
"I fell hard for this book. The dynamic, powerful mixture of secrets, stories, and longing that bind families together is Zoraida Córdova’s narrative engine, but her ability to evoke landscape and the numinous make The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina feel like an invitation into an enchanted garden."
The New Adventures of Helen (2021)
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
"A master of the short story form, a kindred spirit to writers like Angela Carter and Yumiko Kurahashi."
Out There (2022)
Kate Folk
"An assortment of stories so sharp and ingenious you may cut yourself on them while reading, like a drawer full of the most beautiful knives - Out There goes onto my shelf of favorite collections."
Quantum Girl Theory (2022)
Erin Kate Ryan
"A thrilling, many-faceted gothic novel: Erin Kate Ryan's Quantum Girl Theory belongs in the same company as the work of Shirley Jackson and Carmen Maria Machado."
Sleepwalk (2022)
Dan Chaon
"How to describe this excellent novel? Slapstick of the sinister might capture something of its peculiar, bighearted and epic scope, but Dan Chaon's books are always hard to sum up. Anyway, I loved it."
Valleyesque (2022)
Fernando A Flores
"These are marvelously unpredictable stories, anchored by Fernando A. Flores's deadpan prose and his surefooted navigation of those overlapping territories, the real and the fantastic, where so much of the best contemporary fiction now lives."
Thistlefoot (2022)
GennaRose Nethercott
"Irresistible, exuberant, and--appropriately--surefooted, GennaRose Nethercott's Thistlefoot brims over with earthy magic, picaresque adventures, and eccentric and formidable characters. It's a fabulous, weird, gorgeous book."
The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern (2022)
Rita Zoey Chin
"The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern is a bittersweet and achingly tender coming of age novel. Like V. E. Schwab and Audrey Niffenegger, Rita Zoey Chin is an expert guide to that territory in which magic, loss, and possibility change not only the characters but the reader, too."
The Survivalists (2023)
Kashana Cauley
"Kashana Cauley understands all the possible ways in which our lives--relationships, roommates, jobs--can go suddenly, absurdly, inexorably, almost thrillingly wrong. If there was such a thing as required reading for living through the twenty-first century in America, I'd put The Survivalists near the top of the list. I loved it."

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