Tuesday, September 10, 2019

A Bird, a Song, a Revolution, by Brooke Bolander

★★★★☆ Well-written, moving, memorable

(Fantasy) An ice-age girl who learns to play the flute has an unusual connection with a future girl starving in a flooded city. (5,208 words; Time: 17m)

"A Bird, a Song, a Revolution," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 112, published on .

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

Review: 2019.510 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is mostly the story of Whistlecage’s life, from the time when, as a very young girl, she learns to make and play flutes up to her last moments as old Mother Whistle. It’s a satisfying story by itself, and particularly touching in the way she buys time for the little kids to escape.

Then we have “future girl’s” futile search for food in the wreckage of an old museum someone along a flooded coastline. (Presumably in the US or UK, since the word “Museum” is in English.) She doesn’t find food, but she does find Mother Whistle’s old flute. We knew from the start that she was musically inclined, since she was singing as she struggled to get into the old museum, so it’s no surprise she tries to play the flute. And apparently there’s still some magic in it, because we see that she’s going to lead a revolution.

Con: The speculative element is very weak here. The flute must be magic if it turns future girl into a revolutionary, but otherwise it was only magical in the sense that it changed Whistlecage’s life. And, of course, the witch was magical, but she didn’t need to be; all she needed was to advise Whistlecage about making a flute.

Other Reviews: Search Web
Brooke Bolander Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)