Any Way the Wind Blows by Seanan McGuire

Any Way the Wind Blows by Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (20 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

As departs from its longtime home, the iconic Flatiron building, we present this sweet farewell from Seanan McGuire, Any Way the Wind Blows.

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I wish the blurb of this short story had mentioned the fact that it’s about people who visit many different versions of Earth! While I can’t say much about the specifics of this without giving away spoilers due to how short the plot was, I was impressed with how creative Mr. McGuire was when he imagined all of the ways the same patch of land could be different depending on which version of Earth it was part of.

It would have been helpful to have some sort of description of the main character. Not only was their name never given, the other characters also didn’t make any references to this person’s gender, age, race, personality, quirks, habits, flaws, strengths, or general appearance. Literally all I knew about them was that they were the captain. I definitely don’t need to know all or even most of these things in order to bond with a protagonist, but it sure is helpful to have a basic idea of who they are as an individual at some point during the plot. Having no clue what they looked like or how to describe them to someone else made it tricky for me to rate this tale as highly as I would have otherwise rated it.

The world building was surprisingly well done. Of course I wanted to know more about the characters’ mission given how serious the stakes were for it if they were to fail, but I was satisfied with the quick explanation of what they were doing that was shared with the audience. It made sense to me, especially once the narrator dug a little deeper into why they were so insistent on visiting every parallel version of Earth they could possibly find.

I’d recommend Any Way the Wind Blows to anyone who enjoys a little humor and horror in their science fiction.

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