Title: Lady Witherspoon’s Solution
Author: James Morrow
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Steampunk
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: “Martin and Andrew are merely making themselves useful whilst awaiting deportation,” the baroness replied.
On a long, scientific voyage a young man thinks that he has discovered the origins of man – the only still existing population of Neanderthals. But, what he’s really discovered is something far more intense.
The imagery invoked in this image has layer upon layer of meaning which unfold as the story does. At the outset, it seems to be a slightly different approach and take to a scientific endeavour to the reaches of the unknown. Then there is the slow unravelling of just who the unknown people on the island are. And it makes you question the everyday world and the patriarchy in which we currently live.
I like that the story is told from two different point of views. From that of the scientist discovering, and that of the young woman who lies in a grave. It actually took a few unexpected twists using this. Which is what I always enjoy in a good short story. And something I’m really beginning to appreciate in Steampunk short stories in particular.
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