Both of these were pretty short so I figured I'd just read/review both of them.
"Where Blue is Blue" has a pretty gruesome beginning that sneaks up on you like a sick joke. And it has an equally surprising ending that somehow manages to be both gruesome and transcendent. Along the way, it tells an interesting story about the feeding of beasts, the male gaze, and the similarities between art and detective work. I like to be surprised, even a little shocked, by a good short story and this one achieves it well.
"The Birds for Christmas" is about two boys in a hospital/orphanage at Christmastime. It's a pretty bleak and depressing setting with overtones of horror. Yet it's also funny and has a rather sweet turn at the end, and I thought Richard's ability to give voice to the young protagonist is dead-on.
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