But The Ant King is more often notable for its sparkly humor, deft allusions, and immediate language. And for its shadowy darkness. “Other Cities,” a series of mini-portraits of imagined places, includes this description of a person who might want to move to a place called Stin: “You recall that you are going to die, your heart pounds, and you are desperate to cling to your flesh, but more desperate still not to forget the fear, not to lapse back into the placid dullness of taking existence for granted. . . . ” Just one more way that these stories are odd, irreal, and as familiar and human as they are alien and otherworldly.
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