Thursday, April 12, 2018

Strange Waters, by Samantha Mills

[Strange Horizons]
★★★★☆ Beautiful, creative, and touching

(Fantasy Time Travel) Mika is lost at sea, but lost in time, not space, landing at her home port over and over at different times spread across almost two thousand years as she tries to get home to her children. (6,183 words; Time: 20m)

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 04/02/18, published on .

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

Pro: I enjoyed seeing the city of Maelstrom in different ages through Mika’s eyes, and I really admired her determination to get back to her children. Her refusal to help people add content to “the book” seems selfish at first, but her fierce belief that the past isn’t fixed unless she hears about it is at least understandable.

Yes, her journey ends in failure, and she loses her family. Yet it does seem she found peace at last in the knowledge that her children survived and prospered after all, which, if you think about it, is more than most people get.

I particularly liked the notion of a city where children learn future history as well as past history.

Con: There’s not much tension in the story, although I can't put my finger on why not.

There are a couple of loose ends that don’t get tied up. For example, the librarian gives her letters to deliver, but we never hear what she did with them.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. The ending packed a little more emotional punch than I expected, but structurally, the story seemed a little uneven. For example, we get a long narrative about Mika's travels long after it becomes necessary. That's the downside. On the upside, the story has an interesting premise (a world where time travel is a commonality), and I wouldn't mind seeing it expanded into a novel.