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Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories (edition 2019)

by Sarah Pinsker (Author)

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318515,360 (4.25)7
Member:jnwelch
Title:Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories
Authors:Sarah Pinsker (Author)
Info:Small Beer Press (2019), 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:science fiction, short stories, 2019

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Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The stories in this collection deal with relationships - between people and other people, people and things, and people and history.

The Narwhal describes a cross-country trip in a car that resembles a whale; the owner wants to visit a town in the middle of nowhere where her mother apparently stopped years ago, for no apparent reason.

In Wind Will Rove, the protagonist, a teacher on a generation ship, tries to keep a particular folk song alive in the face of indifference from her students, who are more concerned with their current life and its prospects than with the past.

The Nebula Award-winning Our Lady of the Open Road describes the life of a group of musicians, struggling to keep alive the experience of live music when anyone can download an immersive experience of any concert they want.

Th stories in this volume have appeared in various science fiction magazines, but if you don't subscribe or read the annual Nebula Award collections, this is an excellent place to experience the range and depth of Pinsker's work. Small Beer Press is to be commended for making the work of such a talented writer available. ( )
  tdashoff | Jan 19, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This short story collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea is by a Nebula award winner, and certainly has its fans. I got it as an ER book. For me, it was okay but not great. It does have some offbeat and intriguing premises. In the first one, a farmer loses his arm in a threshing accident, and the prosthetic replacement thinks its a road in Colorado, bringing odd visions to his life. The last story involves a convention of "Sarah Pinsker"s (the author) drawn from many alternate universes. Their lives have taken different turns, and one leads to murder. "Wind Will Rove" has many lovely moments as a multigenerational space crew tries to preserve Earth music and stories via oral history (the database was damaged) as the ship makes its long trip to a new home. The book features a lot of diversity in its characters, and has some nice surprises. I just didn't get Ray Bradbury-esque liftoff from it. At the same time, I won't be surprised if it garners some awards. ( )
  jnwelch | Jan 11, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A collection of short stories with a science fiction focus. The stories are mainly near-future stories speculating on social aspects connected with technology. Only 1 story is new, while the rest have been released previously in magazines and other areas. Every story is good and many are amazing. None of the stories are bad. Most of them had me wanting more. I would say this is the best short story collection I have read so far. I highly recommend if you are a fan of short fiction. ( )
  renbedell | Dec 24, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This collection of Sarah Pinsker's stories includes several with a minimum of near-future speculation, set in the likely advances of technology and the unraveling of our civilization. There are a few outright fantasies riffing on established mythemes: golem, sirens, costumed superheroine. There is one story set on an interstellar generation ship, and one is a locked-room murder mystery at an inter-dimensional hotel conference.

Pinsker is a musician, and this attribute is key to several of her protagonists, particularly in the longer stories. The murder mystery "And Then There Were (N-One)" has the author's identity reflected into the prohibitive majority of its many characters, and thus may serve as an allegory of her writing process. The emotional richness of her stories must be a projective result of introspection. In the generation ship story "Wind Will Rove," music serves as an emblem of the complex relationship between cultural continuity and creativity.

The focus on the moral dilemmas of characters in transformed worlds was central to many of these stories. "Remembery Day" is one I could easily imagine being written by James Morrow. Although there is a recurrent sense of whimsy, all of these stories are within reach of a deep vein of sadness. I was especially impressed with the piece "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind," for the way that it managed to evoke a positive emotional tone at the end of a tale of sorrow compounded through reminiscence.

On the whole, this is an admirable assortment of stories. I think they will speak powerfully to any intelligent reader, not just genre fans. ( )
1 vote paradoxosalpha | Dec 23, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this galley through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sarah Pinsker is among my favorite writers, and I was thrilled to read her new collection from Small Beer Press a few months in advance of release. When I say she's among my favorites, that also means I'd read most of the stories in this book before; four were new to me, but one sees its first publication in this book.

All of these stories are worth re-reading. Actually, they are worth studying on a technical level to understand why stories work. Pinsker doesn't write about big drama. She writes about people being people in sometimes extraordinary circumstances. There's a sense of subtlety to her works. In "A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide," a man loses his arm, and along with his prosthetic he gains an awareness of being a road in remote Colorado. "Remembery Day" addresses PTSD and the effects of war on the next generation, without ever becoming preachy. In "And Then There were (n-one)," one of my very favorite novellas, period, she brings a brilliant spin to Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" by envisioning a cross-dimensional conference of hundreds of Sarah Pinskers on an isolated island in a storm--and one of them is murdered.

Because of this collection, I started my document to track my favorite 2019 releases to nominate for awards in 2020. Yes, this collection is that good. ( )
  ladycato | Dec 14, 2018 |
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