Archive

Archive for May, 2012

“The Copenhagen Interpretation”, by Paul Cornell

“The Copenhagen Interpretation” is a 2011 science fiction short story by Paul Cornell.  It has been nominated for the Hugo for Best Short Story of 2012.

Non-Spoiler Summary

Hamilton, a spy in an alternate steampunky world, finds that a woman he loved once upon a time is back, after disappearing completely fifteen years before.

Why should you read it?

I’d really like to say that this story is flawless, but I actually have a problem with Cornell’s writing style.  For some reason, and this is likely just me, I constantly find myself going back to find what I missed in the previous paragraph, and finding that I didn’t miss anything–I just feel like I did.

However, the ideas.  Oh, the ideas.  He suggests, for example, what dark matter is made out of.  A connection I would never have made, that dropped my jaw.  Well worth the time.

This is the third story featuring Jonathan Hamilton, so if you enjoy this one, look for the other two.

Where to find “The Copenhagen Interpretation”

The story was originally published in Asimov’s in July 2011, and they have generously allowed us to read it online.

“Movement”, by Nancy Fulda

“Movement” is a 2011 science fiction short story by Nancy Fulda.  It has been nominated for the Hugo for Best Short Story of 2012.

Non-Spoiler Summary

A young girl with an interesting variant of autism has to guide her parents in choosing whether or not to try a procedure that could “fix” her, at the possible cost of who she is.

Why should you read it?

Who are you?  What makes you, you?  How much could you give up without ceasing to be you, or ceasing to be?  Is the pain in your life so great that you’d rather not be the person you are?  If the thing that makes you different from everyone else also makes you . . . different from everyone else. . . is that a bad thing?

I have pain in my life, in my past.  It’s shaped me, in very large ways.  The difference between me and Hannah, this story’s autist, is that my pain is mostly done with, or is at least something I can get around in the moment.  Hannah’s. . . is not.  It is present in every moment of her life.  And she really does have to decide whether that difference is worth preserving or not, because normalcy may have a price.

Where to find “Movement”

The author has generously allowed us to read it online, and Escape Pod has an audio version.