Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Surfing the Human Wave: Sarah Hoyt's Wings

And now, let us cycle back to our Movement Mommy!

(People laughed when I awarded Sarah Hoyt that title in my review of her Darkship-verse, so I think I'll keep using it. :P)

Wings is an anthology of short stories that, according the opening author's note, were mostly written between 2001 and 2007 in "the time of no hope."  The balance here tips more towards fantasy, but there are also two shorts set in the Darkship future history and several other stories dealing with time travel, cryogenics, and space colonization, so hardcore science fiction fans are unlikely to walk away completely disappointed.

Throughout the collection, several interesting themes emerge. Sarah seems especially fascinated with the mystery of human creativity and its power to consume. In these stories, we find several characters - many pulled from history - seeking out fantastic aid for the sake of their craft -- and in each case, a cost is exacted. The young Leonardo da Vinci is possessed by an ancient god and loses his former identity. Kit Marlowe is killed to satisfy his debt to the muses he enslaved. Assassination is the only way John Lennon can achieve his coveted immortality. Additionally, this collection contains a great deal of reflection on what makes life worth living -- and in all honesty, I really like Sarah's answer. In the title story and in "What She Left Behind" in particular, the message seems to be this: that a life well lived is one focused on others and not on your own personal "self-actualization."

My favorite story of the bunch was probably "But World Enough;" I have a real weakness for characters who are misled by prophecies they've misinterpreted. But in truth, all the stories here are worth reading. If you want to get a real sense of Sarah Hoyt's range, pick up this anthology.

Final Verdict: Recommended.    


No comments:

Post a Comment