White Time, by Margo Lanagan

She waited. Her head was so busy, with the two voices blabbing numbers in one ear, and the music wandering in the other. It was annoying. She wanted to unplug everything and just hear for herself what white time sounded like. She was sure it would be a delicious, restful silence.

White Time is a collection of ten short stories from award winning speculative fiction author Margo Lanagan. First published in 2000, this collection pre-dates her best-known collection, Black Juice, but is equally as good.

Lanagan takes diverse settings and themes for her stories – one is set within a bee hive, another in a contemporary classroom and bedroom, and others in fantasy worlds – but what is common to all is their ability to totally absorb the reader and to leave him or her thinking well beyond the ending of the story. Each story compels the reader to keep reading, and, importantly, to keep wondering. Whilst some stories are easier than others to process – Midsummer Mission, for example, is on the surface a tale of fairy-folk meddling in romance, whilst the figure of a hovering set of innards following a boy around his war-torn home in The Night Lily is much more confronting – all stories offer much to challenge the reader both during and after the reading process.

This is a brilliant collection which will appeal to teens and adults alike.

White Time

White Time, by Margo Lanagan
Allen & Unwin, first published 2000, this edition 2006

You can buy this book online at Fishpond.