Heart Attack of the Day


The latest issue of Locus contains Gardner Dozois’s review of “Scattered Along the River of Heaven”, which he very kindly calls the story one of the best of the year so far, and compares it to Ursula Le Guin’s “The Day Before the Revolution”. (in case you’re curious and not a Locus subscriber, Sean Wallace posted the full text of the review here)

Given that Le Guin is basically one of my heroines, who got me into feminism, and got me into SF at a time when most (hard) SF left me cold; and that “The Day Before the Revolution” is one of her stories that still stick with me, years after reading it… you’ll understand why I’m pretty much floored at that point.

(bonus links: Adam Callaway’s take on the Nebula Awards finalists, aka I’m floored again; and just for a contrast, VarietySF’s take, which basically lists “Shipbirth” at the bottom of the list as completely incomprehensible and unreadable)


  1. Is it ok that I laughed out loud at VarietySF’s reaction? I doubt that Shipbirth is for everyone, so I can imagine his baffled face. “Aztecs? In space? Giving birth to living ship AI’s?” *head explodes*
    That said, the Nebula stories seem to be a grim bunch this year.

  2. 😀 You’re free to do what you want (I had a laugh, but more at the variety of reactions. VarietySF’s tastes run very much towards hard SF and pulp, from the little I’ve seen, so I’m not entirely surprised that they would hate Shipbirth with a passion, and generally not like the Nebula ballot–which, as you point out, is a fairly grim bunch this year. That said, I don’t begrudge them their opinion, it’s just that I found it very amusing that they and Adam Callaway basically had opposite reactions).

  3. I’m quite sympathetic, since I tend to prefer Hard SF and space opera myself. But the thought of the facial expressions cracked me up. If I didn’t know you and your interests, it might have baffled me as well. 🙂

  4. 😀

  5. And very well-deserved, Aliette. It’s a truly excellent, award-worthy story.

  6. Aw, thank you, Dario! This was a very difficult story to write (3 years+ into the making), so I’m glad to see it working for so many people!

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