Sunday, January 8, 2012
Louise's Ghost, by Kelly Link
Louise's Ghost (part of Link's Stranger Things Happen collection) won the Nebula for best novelette in 2001, and I think I understand why. It's a really fine piece of writing for writers. The protagonist and her best friend are both named Louise, and there is much weaving of their stories, with a bit of intentional confusion. The magical elements are matter-of-factly handled yet central to the story--the ghost(s) are not mere adjuncts to character development, they are central to it. I feel like I've learned something about writing by reading this piece. The only holdback is that I normally don't want to work that hard to understand a speculative piece, and I think this story sort of needs to be studied. I would highly recommend it if you like more introspective, writerly pieces. As more of an adventure-science guy I can manage 3 stars for it.