Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Airwalker Comes to the City in Green, by Siobhan Carroll

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Future Fantasy) On a dangerous mission outside, Henriette finds a duplicate of herself who fell from another universe. There’s something suspicious about her doppleganger, who insists they need to mount a mission to save the world. (12,301 words; Time: 41m)

"The Airwalker Comes to the City in Green," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 11-12|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.619 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The setting is fascinating, albeit incompletely explored given the short length of this work. With luck we’ll see more stories in this universe.

Stories with unreliable narrators aren’t very common in SF/F, but this may be the only one I’ve ever read where the narrator and the narrator’s friends (not to mention the narrator’s doppelgΓ€nger) all acknowledge that the narrator isn’t to be believed. I suppose it’s not strictly an unreliable narrator story since I think we can assume that whatever the narrator tells us is true, but it’s still unusual.

So when Henriette’s double tells the council that they need to deal with the “entanglement,” and she assures us “whatever she says next will be a lie,” it adds quite a bit of tension to the upcoming mission. We’re worried about what the double may do, but we’re also worried about what Henriette might do.

If you speak some French, the bits of French here and there are a nice bonus.

Con: Somehow I never liked Henriette enough to feel emotionally attached to the outcome. She definitely didn’t seem like the sort of person the civitas ought to be trusting with important missions.

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