The Time Traveler’s Almanac – Alice Sola Kim’s “Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters”

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Welcome to our Thursday reviews of stories in The Time Traveler’s Almanac, edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer. Visit my TTTA main page for all the reviews.

Oct. 1 – Alice Sola Kim/ Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters – 71
Alice Sola Kim is an American writer. Her short stories can be found in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and Strange Horizons. “Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters” was first published in Lightspeed in November 2010.

I should mention first off that I’m now terrified of Ms Kim’s website. While doing research for this post, I clicked on her twitter link to her website and then had the strangest virus lock my computer down. I tried scanning for virus and it shut that program down. I went through two more until I found Hitman Pro 2. Hopefully, I’m in the clear, but I don’t know if her site is clean yet.

I have to admit, I’ve read this story four times and must have lost my first review with the crash. I really enjoyed this story, but I don’t want to go through again for specific quotes. So, by summary, the best aspects of this story:
1)Unique time travel method – I loved how the malfunction caused him to travel forward every time he slept. It’s terrifying to think of losing your children every time you go to sleep.

2)Strong attachment to family love – Tying in to #1, I enjoyed the emotional resonance of how every jump meant being farther from his home, and how he missed his daughters, while also…

3)Strange futures – …seeing strange futures that were oddly entertaining.

Great ending. No spoilers this week. Just saying. Maybe in comments.

4/5

in the rest of our group of time traveling readers:
Preston from the Leighgendarium (on break for two weeks)

About Timothy C. Ward

Timothy C. Ward is a former executive producer and Hugo Nominee of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. He has been broke and lost on the other side of the world and now dreams of greater adventures from his keyboard in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer, he released his second Sand Divers book, Scavenger: A.I., where two parents use an ancient technology to fight a reproducing A.I. while trying to resurrect their deceased infant, and a new series that begins with Godsknife: Revolt, an apocalyptic battle for godhood in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up for his newsletter for news, sales, giveaways and more: http://www.timothycward.com/newsletter/.

3 Responses to The Time Traveler’s Almanac – Alice Sola Kim’s “Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters”

  1. I was so nervous clicking on her website when I writing this review! There was a deep sigh of relief when it loaded and nothing bad happened. Her website was just a form to fill out for contact though? Either way, I linked to her twitter account in my review, just in case.

    The time-travel method here is my favorite one so far! Falling asleep and traveling into the future has so many possibilities! That’s kind of what I felt she was explore in the story.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t bond with Hwang. Very emotional moments, but because how we were jumping all around, I never built any attachment to Hwang himself.

  2. I, too, really liked the time travel aspect of this one. I thought being stuck in the travel, being connected to something broken, then having a broken story line was great. Very creative. Had some questions about the daughter thing and wasn’t invested in Hwang, so I rated it down, but it was SUPER interesting, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to read new ground.

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