Ya’ll. This was not was for me. This book has been well loved by Cannonballers. It’s won the Nebula and the Locus awards. And I get why! The storytelling style is unique, the narrative is interesting. This book has style for daaaaays. But oh my lord I was bored to tears, which is a special accomplishment for a novella.
Plot: The plot, frankly, doesn’t really matter. You have two opposing shadowy organizations fighting for domination of the world by strategically travelling through time and causing or stopping specific events through surgical actions. Red and Blue, two super excellent time assassins working for opposite sides, pick up a correspondence based on mutual professional respect, which evolves into more.
Maybe if this was a full length novel I would have gotten into it more. But the thing is that you don’t get any sense of anything. Not the time, not the place, not these shadowy organizations, not even of Red and Blue. There’s nothing to anchor the story to, and so it made it really hard for me to connect to anything or care about the outcomes of anything. There were, effectively, no stakes. It’s a story about two disembodied heads that do some low key flirting over the course of years and mistake getting along with a stranger over limited correspondence with love because they, being solitary creatures, have no experience with any real bonds.
If you’ve read a lot of samey things are you’re looking for Something Completely Different, this will almost certainly satisfy. Whether you’ll find the actual story worth the read, I don’t know.