Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Archive for August 11th, 2010

‘Kyrie’ by Poul Anderson

with 2 comments

‘Kyrie’ is slightly the victim of its structure but I enjoyed it and it is one of surprisingly few stories that actually fits the billing of the anthology. At its heart is the interstellar relationship between a telepathic space nun and a dragon made out pure energy which, despite my silly description, is both rigorous and touching. The nun’s relationship with her atheist and uncomprehending captain is also nicely done. Anderson writes like a human, a rare treat in this context.

The structural issues are there from the beginning though. ‘Kyrie’ opens with a description of a lunar convent and its sisters: “They minister to the sick, the needy, the crippled, the insane, all whom space has broken and cast back.” So you know it probably isn’t going to have a happy ending. Then, at the halfway point, a scientist is wheeled on to give a infodump about singularities. So you know what the unhappy ending is likely to involve. This then leads to total pathos overload.

Quality: ***
Hardness: ***

Written by Martin

11 August 2010 at 08:07