The Age of Ice is this very special, very compelling book. It’s got some rather idiosyncratic pacing and I perhaps took way too long to finish reading it, but taken as a whole I think it’s almost meant to be read slowly, savored.
Love becomes an algorithm for living in synchrony with another person.
There must be an etiquette for babbling about stories in anthologies you’re a part of, but… ‘From the Nothing, With Love’ by Project Itoh (Phantasm Japan, 2014) is just really superbly good. It is full of quotable lines full of truth, and it skewers things in this brilliant, understated way. There’s an immaculateness in its observations that I just adore, and a smoothness to its style that does credit to Jim Hubbert, the translator. I’m not going to yell please buy this anthology because I’m in it – buy it for *this* story (and as a bonus, many other translated stories!). Suppose I have a draft Hugo ballot, this would go under the novelette category immediately.
“And your husband, kids—they here in Boston?”
She smiled at the simplicity of the attempt.
“My partner and I live in New York. I don’t have any children.”
His face fell and she felt suddenly very sorry. On a whim, she conjured up two nonexistent stepchildren, girls, in their teens.
‘Big Week’ by Zadie Smith (The Paris Review, 2014). It is very Zadie Smith! Alienation told in delicate description and a touch of the wry.
‘The Hoof Situation’ by Bonnie Jo Shufflebeam (Scigentasy, 2014) does a really interesting thing where an old lady *welcomes* old age as might and freedom, which is wonderfully different and a fantastic perspective; and it has a characterful voice I adore. Horrifying ending though! (Intentionally, I think). Monstrosity and womanhood.