book reviews by Althea

The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere – John Chu ***

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My book club read a selection of short stories this month; this was one of them.

This is a very well-crafted piece; and all the relationships in it ring very true. It’s the story of a gay man struggling with coming out to his family during a holiday visit (this is a great story to read for Christmas!)

I like that just about nothing here is idealized or sanitized – people are difficult, hard, irrational – but at the same time, the overall mood is sweet and hopeful.

However, I disagree with this story winning a Hugo award. It’s not really a science-fiction story. The ‘supernatural’ element (water that falls on someone’s head whenever they tell a lie [shades of Pinocchio]) is used as a literary device, not in a speculative fashion. If it won an award for the gay romance genre, that’d be well-deserved.


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