Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
In: Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Gaslamp, Historical fiction
Dates read: 25th September 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: While today’s fair was no joy, tonight proved a further trial – the first of what I assume will be many stumbling blocks along my pilgrim’s progress.
Mosley was struck by lightning as a child, but he didn’t truly realise that that’s what it meant until his younger brother is murdered. Then, on his quest to meet Edison, he begins to understand the true meaning behind light, electricity and power at the turn of the century.
Tesla and Edison and their competition has always vaguely fascinated me. After all, they’re work is what we use in our everyday lives and it’s not something that I could imagine being without. And, apparently Hieber felt the same… since this pivotal moment in time is what is featured in this tale. It completely drew me in. To the point, that after reading this story, I bought a collection of works that feature Tesla’s experiments and life… you have to start somewhere, and I’m still not entirely sure who’s side I’m on in that race…
I really enjoyed Hieber’s wordplay on light and power. Both are intricately intertwined with electricity and they have some incredibly similar meanings, yet we use them so separately in our everyday lives. I don’t think I’ll be doing that so much now. From henceforth it seems more likely and useful to see them as their intertwined selves. And understand them in conjunction with each other.
Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of Smallville, and in one of the early episodes there is a young man who goes insane and has a lot of power (literally) running through his veins. Mosley made me think of this a lot. He is young, from a very bad family situation and just wants to find a way to make the world (mostly his world) better. Yet, the way he goes about it has a slightly sinister feeling to it. One that left me with goosebumps sliding up my arms long after I turned the last page.