The ED SF Project

The Ellen Datlow/SCI FICTION Project, that is. We're showing the love for five and a half years of great short fiction, and we need your help! We've got over 300 stories to cover, so if you're a person who loves short speculative fiction, we want you. Go here to read the list and add your voice.

Friday, November 18, 2005

“Gather Blue Roses” by Pamela Sargent: An Appreciation by Rebecca Gold

I haven’t reviewed anything in awhile: but the days my life is rightside-up are finally becoming more than the days my life is upside-down. I keep meaning to get back to it, but my address has changed and is going to change again soon. We’ll see.

But my mother read Pamela Sargent, between illnesses. Had she been out of bed enough in the past twenty years to catch onto the Internet Age, she would have been an avid fan of SCI FICTION--I have no doubt she would have read, and loved, this story. So, there’s my justification for getting emotional.

But this story is in itself justification for emotion.

Like all the best science fiction stories, it was the ending that shifted my soul, that made this story into something beautiful and wondrous and strange. But the beginning was important, too.

I’ve read a lot of fiction that deals with the holocaust: identifying as a Jew, it comes with the territory. I’ve never read one so poignant, so emotionally true, as this. There are kernels of the most painful truth buried here. You can’t help but recognize it.
"Love and contentment are only soft veils which do not protect me from bludgeons; and with the strongest loves, one can still sense the more violent undercurrents of fear, hate, and jealousy.”

This story did more for me than anything published in The Year’s Best ... ever has. Because before it committed that alchemy that makes a rational person believe in magic, it spoke to me. Where else will there be short stories that can speak to every minority, so wonderfully, so often?

I wish I knew.

Link to Story.


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