I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories
This is a three star book because I liked “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way” much more than I liked “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life.”
“I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way” take the concepts/consequences of faster-than-light travel and take them to their logical, inevitable ends (and, when I say end, I really mean end). Apparently written as a commission for man to use to propose to his female partner, this story of a couple doomed to forever miss each other by months, then years, then decades, then seemingly millennia seems like a very unlikely story to use for such a purpose.
And even though you know that it can’t possibly end happily–it’s pretty obvious after the first “oh we just missed each other”–you’re still eagerly watching and reading and seeing how these two can hold onto hope when all is lost (both personally, and then societally, and then like, globally??? as with many short stories, it’s not always clear) (except for Ted Chiang’s works, which are in a class of their own!)
The Space Between Worlds
My original review: went from cool to interminable to cool to a so-so ending.
I had really high hopes for this one, because it had some stellar reviews and an awesome set up. The world has a really sharp, clear view to it–all dusty Mad Max dessert and glossy dystopian YA skyscrapers. Cara plunges us into her world and its rules pretty abruptly, and you’re able to get a sense of what it’s all about and invested in the game.
But the middle bit…wasn’t as great. I think Johnson could have worked to tighten up the main plot/intrigue a little better, along with beta testing some of the characterization choices made regarding Cara’s other lives. At some point, it went from intriguing hardship to misery porn, with everyone and everything in all the other planets so mind-numbingly bleak that they start to blend together. I might have stopped reading this midway through [I try to avoid stories with bleak unrelenting misogyny and violence against women because, you know, *looks around*] but I was engaged in the dynamic between Cara and Dell and wanted to see it through.