WEIGHING SHADOWS by Lisa Goldstein

WEIGHING SHADOWS

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Goldstein takes a break from fantasy (The Uncertain Places, 2011, etc.) and returns to science fiction with this brief tale of a corporation seeking to diminish the role of women in society by altering the timeline.

Socially awkward 21st-century hacker Ann Decker is recruited by Transformations Incorporated, a company that uses time travel to improve what they say is a bleak 24th-century future. But while Ann’s new employers are happy to supply her with all the information she needs to fit into past society—including history, culture, language, and clothes—they’re extraordinarily reticent about just what her missions are meant to accomplish and why the mysterious organization Core would want to foil them. Goldstein’s style is, as usual, beautifully spare; what she doesn't say is as important as what she does. Mood is more important than establishing logic or picayune detail. Unfortunately, that style doesn't serve this plot very well. Current conventions for the time-travel story demand a richness of detail; it's simply not plausible that a few weeks of language and history study and a costume would allow a person to blend into the past—there are too many mores and habits that would make the traveler stand out. Writers like Kage Baker, Connie Willis, and Deborah Harkness have brandished their research to address this point. Plots about sinister time-traveling organizations are not new, and there's already a novel about worshipers of the goddess Kore battling time-traveling chauvinists (Sheri Tepper's The Family Tree, 1997). In addition, Goldstein’s ambiguous ending may be poetically true but still comes across as unfinished.

Lovely, disturbing, and intriguing in spots but ultimately, just not enough.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-59780-840-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Night Shade
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015




MORE BY LISA GOLDSTEIN

Sci-FiTHE ALCHEMIST’S DOOR by Lisa Goldstein
by Lisa Goldstein
FictionWALKING THE LABYRINTH by Lisa Goldstein
by Lisa Goldstein
FictionTRAVELLERS IN MAGIC by Lisa Goldstein
by Lisa Goldstein

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

Sci-FiNECESSITY by Jo Walton
by Jo Walton
FictionIN THE GARDEN OF IDEN by Kage Baker
by Kage Baker
FictionDOOMSDAY BOOK by Connie Willis
by Connie Willis