The Time Invariance of Snow by E. Lily Yu

The Time Invariance of Snow by E. Lily Yu
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The Devil made a mirror. A physicist broke and shards fall through reality and changed everything forever.

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This tale did a wonderful job of using metaphors to explain how and why the world had become such a terrible place after the devil’s mirror was accidentally broken. There were footnotes after the final paragraph to explain some of them. I was glad I paused to read each one as it popped up in the text and would suggest that other readers do the same thing. Those footnotes were beautifully written and really helped me to understand some of the more complex metaphors.

Most of the characters revealed their proper names during the course of the plot. Some were identified by the first letter of their name, and others were described by their occupation or some other label. It was amazing to see how well I got to know them regardless of how they were addressed. The author did a wonderful job of showing who they were as individuals, from their interests to their personality traits.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this story was the ending. The beginning and middle were filled with scenes that didn’t always seem to be related to each other. There were times when I wondered where the author was going and if my theories about it were correct, so it was a joy to see everything coalesce in the end in about the way I hoped it would.

The Time Invariance of Snow was the best piece of hard science fiction I’ve read this year. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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