Strange Horizons, 29 May 2006

Note: This post was imported from an old content-management system, so please excuse any inconsistencies in formatting.

"Textual Variants" by Rosamund Hodge

"Textual Variants" by Rosamund Hodge is the story of San Attesakesa, a girl whose birth heralds the destruction of all the worlds in existence, save one, which she must choose.  She travels through the worlds with Aru, Logan, and Skadi, running from those who would see her die before the choice is made.

There is so much to like about this story.  There is a nice mythic tone  reinforced by snippets of background myth and prophesy.  These sections are nearly perfect and almost could have stood on their own.  While I enjoyed San’s part of the story, I felt that too many details were left out. 

Though well written, "Textual Variants" seemed hampered by its length.  Just under three thousand words was enough to give me a taste of what happened, but there wasn’t enough detail about the worlds or the main characters to allow for the emotional punch the ending deserved.
Still, I enjoyed it enough to keep an eye out for Hodge’s work in the future.