Monday, September 2, 2019

Someday We'll Embrace This Distance, by Niyah Morris

[Strange Horizons]

(Time Travel) Jenny meets a strange woman in the supermarket, who greets her as if they’re old friends. Or even more than friends. (5,559 words; Time: 18m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 08/12/19, published on .

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

Review: 2019.448 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Jenny doesn’t really know how lonely and in need of companionship she is until she meets Ria. Ria’s a visitor from her future, but she says they were lovers for years and now she’s travelling back in time to get to know her better. Or something.

Although the story takes a long time to let us know that Jenny is a lesbian, an early clue that Ria is female is that we know her father was from India and Ria is a girl’s name there. It’s sad that Jenny doesn’t trust her mom enough to tell her the truth. From personal experience, I know how much that alienates you from your loved ones.

By the end of the story, Jenny knows what it means to be loved and to be part of a couple. She’s just waiting to meet the young Ria, but now she’s full of hope.

Con: There’s something a bit creepy about the whole thing. Did Jenny die in the future and Ria is doing this time-travel thing because she can’t let go? Or, worse, is the whole thing a scam, and Ria just knows about Jenny from stalking her on social media. That it, it may not be genre at all.

It’s pretty obvious this is a time-travel story just a few paragraphs in, but it takes a long time to get to the point where that’s confirmed. Then it gives us a four-paragraph infodump about how time travel works for Ria.

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