April 24th, 2014

whiskey cheese

All My Children. (17, 5:12)

My Real Children by Jo Walton.

Walking on the moon:
bristling with missiles or elms?
I can't remember.

I can be accused of calling anything Wolfeian. If I order a salad that comes with tomatoes when the menus didn't say tomatoes I'm all, "unreliable narrator!" A the drop of a hat. I gotta tell you though, this has all the elements of the ambiguity of memory that Wolfe always flirts with, most manifestly in Latro. It's the sci-fi equivalent of Peace, if you know what I mean-- if not, I you should read Peace; heck, I should re-read it-- & that's wonderful. Here's the thing though: even more than that, My Real Children is Jo Waltonian. She brings the same sense of the big three, pathos, ethos, & logos, that she brought to Among Others. She makes you care about the characters, the story culminates in an open-ended ethical question & she writes the crap out of it. There were a few spooky sad bits at the end, pow, right in the ticker. Yikes. Remember how Among Others messed me up? This had a couple of those bits. Walton explores the constraints & consequences of women's choices in the last century in terse detail. Their problems are plausible, even though their worlds are not our own. I say "they" because there is one character, Patricia, but she has two lives. Pat & Trish. One who married unhappily in an ever more utopian world, & one who lived happily ever after in a deteriorating Cold War...until both end up losing their memories in a nursing home, relieving their lives, in these two parallel worlds. & that's not a spoiler, that's the premise; like the best sci-fi, the premise isn't the story. The story is the characters, & how they play the cards they're dealt. You should read it & you should read Among Others if you haven't yet. Jo Walton is a stone cold badass.