Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Long Day in Lychford, by Paul Cornell

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(Modern Fantasy; Lychford) Autumn learns that casting spells when drunk and angry has bad results when she accidentally shatters Lychford’s magical defenses and traps a number of people inside unstable space-time bubbles. (25,934 words; Time: 1h:26m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Sequel to The Lost Child of Lychford (2016). Stands alone, but reading it first might spoil the earlier one. See related articles on

"," by (edited by Lee Harris), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The plot is complex, with separate branches for Autumn, Judith, and Lizzie.
Autumn wants to clean up her mess but also reconcile with Judith. She ends up needing to save Marcin, which is appropriate, given that he’s another “outsider.” Autumn is quite industrious, and she does the most of anyone to fix the mess—including erecting a wall. (The irony of that is pretty funny.)

Judith wants to fix Autumn’s mess, but she also struggles with her own declining mental state. She ends up rescuing Old Rory, which fits as he’s the other pensioner and the other person with negative ideas about “outsiders.”

Lizzie has the weakest plot line in this novella; she’s trying to fix the noise problem the fairies complained about (so it’s fitting she gets the ravers), as well as contributing to fixing Autumn’s problem.

At the end of the novella, the immediate problems are fixed, but it’s clear that it has set up the plot for the next one.

Con: This story depends a good bit on the prior two, both to understand the motivations of the characters and simply to know what’s going on. (E.g. why do the fairies send a representative to the vicar?)

Given the setup for the next story, the stakes in this one seem very small.

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Paul Cornell Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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