Monday, September 10, 2018

Field Biology of the Wee Fairies, by Naomi Kritzer

★★★★★ Sweet, Funny, and Inspiring

(Modern Fantasy) When other girls catch fairies, they wish for beauty, but Amelia just wants to do well on her science project. (4,700 words; Time: 15m)

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 112, published on .

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

Review: 2018.518 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: One can have quite a bit of fun with what the fairies symbolize, but the story is plenty of fun on its own terms. At heart, this is a coming-of-age story. Rather than depending on Mr. Crawford, Amelia takes matters into her own hands. Considering the poor quality of the work the boys produced and the sophistication of Amelia’s project, her Girls Science Club sounds likely to be much more worthy of the name.

I loved how matter-of-fact Amelia was about the fairy. And how once she learned it could talk, she instantly switched from experimentation to interviewing. I particularly got a kick out of the fairy telling her that when she got older and could find a boy who’d admit to having caught a fairy that she should ask him how it went.

Amelia’s friendship with Betty spoke well of her too. Betty’s not a great intellect, but she’s a loyal friend, and Amelia is loyal to her too, feeling bad when Betty is embarrassed in class. Betty might not contribute much science to the club, but she’ll be good with funding. Amelia’s science career will benefit from an ability to make friends with funders.
Con: If the fairies couldn’t really grant wishes, what did they do when someone asked for something they really couldn’t deliver? Just say “no?”

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 112)
Naomi Kritzer Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I love this story. Agree - 5 star and for the best reasons too. It is also going on my Hugo list.

    Well-written, great story, and it leaves the reader with a positive, happy feeling. Very novel approach too. Just remember, this story is set in 1962. Most women wanted good husbands back then, as the long-term goal in life.

    In this story we meet a girl who wants to become a scientist, and we meet the fairy who is going to help enable that.

    Enablers, not wish granters.

  2. Free online here