Strange Horizons, April 20, 2015

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Strange Horizons, April 20, 2015

Nine Thousand Hours” by Iona Sharma

Reviewed by Bob Blough

In Iona Sharma’s “Nine Thousand Hours” Amal is a “salt magician” in an alternate Britain cotemporaneous with today. Magic runs this Britain with electricity as a backup system. Amal, as a magician for a communications company, undertakes to devise an upgrade to email. In so doing all written language is wiped out – from books to street signs. Amal returns to her family home. There she waits with her father and best friend her summons to court.

Unfortunately this is a story that goes nowhere. The writing is literate but not scintillating enough to bring these characters to life. And since there is not much plot there is really nothing to commend this specific story except the hope that the author will create more compelling characters and situations in the future to accompany the literate writing.