Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Salsa Nocturna: Stories, Audio Edition

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Salsa Nocturna: Stories, Audio Edition (2012/2014) Daniel José Older, narrated by Daniel José Older

This is a collection of stories set in his Bone Street Rumba world.

“Tenderfoot” published in The Innsmouth Free Press (2011)
“Salsa Nocturna” published in Strange Horizons (2010)
“Skin Like Porcelain Death”
“The Collector” published in The ShadowCast Audio Anthology (2010)
“Graveyard Waltz” published in The Freezine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (2009)
“Protected Entity” published in Crossed Genres Magazine (2010)
“Red Feather & Bone”
“The Passing”
“Tall Walkin’ Death”
“Love is a Fucking River”
“Forgive Me My Tangents”
“Phantom Overload” published in Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy Tales of Challenging the Norm by Crossed Genres Publications (2011)

I didn’t know what I wanted to listen to, so this seemed a good choice, since I love these stories.

Mammuthus primigenius,” says the doctor.

“You tangled with a wooly motherfucking mammoth,” Riley translates.

I order three shots of rum.

I think “Salsa Nocturna” might be my favorite story in the bunch. It’s a Gordo story.

If I walk onto a playground, and I swear to you I’m never the instigator, it’s like some memo goes out: Drop whatever game you’re playing and come chase the fat guy.

But it’s about music and children and ghosts.

And Gordo.

I am not delicate. But if you were to watch me in slow-mo, you would then understand that, really, I am a panther. A slow, overweight panther, perhaps, but still, there is a fluidity to me – a certain poise.

The stories are blunt about racism and other unpleasant aspects of life, but they’re funny even then.

This part of Harlem’s mostly white now. Homeless black guys wander aimlessly, pretending they didn’t get the memo to clear the fuck out.

It’s still the wrong century for two brown men to be driving a pickup truck with mysteriously tarped cargo towards lower Manhattan. Angry, suspicious eyes whirl around to glare at us as soon as we cross the bridge.

But there’s also a love of language.

‘Simpático’ is the best word for him. It means ‘nice’ in English, but nice is such a pathetic word. Nice. It just lives and dies in one breath.

Stories like this make me wish I had been good at languages–that the language classes I’d taken in high school and college had taken in my brain.

But there’s the beauty of language throughout.

A child’s excitement is its own force of nature.

I adore these stories, and he does a marvelous job reading his own work.

Publisher: Audible Studios
Rating: 9/10


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