Monday, September 11, 2023

The Difference Between Love and Time, by Catherynne M. Valente

Someone in Time: Tales of Time-Crossed Romance, edited by Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, 2022

Our first person narrator first meets the space-time continuum when she is a little girl playing with her Lego set, and he is presenting as a boy of the same age. He changes her Lego set in to a fancier one, one that possibly Lego does not actually make. It's the start of an off and on relationship, in which sometimes, for her, there may be minutes or years between their meetings. They go to high school together. She goes to college, but because of the weird dimensional effects of college with all those young people in transitional stages, he can't even set foot on campus, and has to meet her elsewhere.

They have breakups and reconciliations. He tells her about other dimensions where she's a happier woman. Or a happier greyhound. It's a kaleidoscope, which she spends much of in the decaying seaside town of Ocean Shores, WA, because she loves it.

It's a strange, kaleidoscope love story, and Things Happen that, well, that would be way too spoilery.

Honestly, just go with it. You'll find out the difference between love and time.

I received this story as part of the 2023 Hugo Voters Packet.

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