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What Happens When an Unstoppable Force Meets an Immovable Object?

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BOOK REVIEW

six months, three days

found in Even Greater mistakes

by charlie jane anders

Short Story List

  1. As Good As New
  2. Rat Catcher’s Yellow
  3. If You Take my Meaning
  4. The Time Travel Club
  5. Six Months, Three Days
  6. Love Might Be Too Strong a Word
  7. Fairy Werewolf vs. Vampire Zombie
  8. Ghost Champagne
  9. My Breath is a Rudder
  10. Power Couple
  11. Rock Manning Goes For Broke
  12. Because Change Was The Ocean and We Lived by Her Mercy
  13. Captain Roger in Heaven
  14. Clover
  15. This is Why We Can’t Have Nasty Things
  16. A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime
  17. The Bookstore At The End of America
  18. The Visitmothers

Six Months, Three Days

WHAT IT IS ABOUT?

Doug and Judy have both had a secret power all their life. Judy can see every possible future, branching out from each moment like infinite trees. Doug can also see the future, but for him, it’s a single, locked-in, inexorable sequence of foreordained events. They can’t both be right, but over and over again, they are.

Obviously these are the last two people in the world who should date. So, naturally, they do

REVIEW

Charlie Jane Anders is a writer that I discovered last year and immediately fell in love with. I enjoyed The City in the Middle of the Night, and I had to investigate all the other things she has written as a matter of course. I am so glad I did. Anders is a Hugo and Nebula award-winning writer and a Hugo nominated fancaster with her partner Annalee Newitz. You can find her excellent podcast here. I bought a hardback copy of her short stories after checking out and reviewing As Good As New. Now, she has a new book of short stories coming out called Even Greater Mistakes.

As Good As New exudes pure positivity even in the face of tragic or exhausting circumstances. It is a quality that I find quite a bit in Anders’s writing. She has a way of finding the good, the beautiful, the heartfelt in places where finding those things is hard. Even in the direst of circumstances, there is always good and always something beautiful even if you can’t see it, and Anders calls it out; she shows us. 

“Well,” Judy says. “There are a million tracks, you know. It’s like raindrops falling into a cistern, they’re separate until they hit the surface, and then they become the past: all undifferentiated. But there are an awful lot of futures where you and I date for about six months.”― 

There are many wonderful short stories in Even Greater Mistakes. Six Months and Five days is short story with the same sense sense of optimism that I have come to associate with Anders.

Six Months and Three Days is a love story, of a sort. It is an exploration of what happens when two individuals, one who can see his future, and another who can see all futures meet and fall in love? It is a literal definition of a rock and a hard place. 

The story is charming, and we know right from the beginning how it is going to end. But, the ending is not important. It doesn’t matter how Doug and Judy end up getting there; it is the six months and three days of life that happen before the final moment, which I think Anders wanted to highlight.

Yes, we can know all the answers. Yes, we know there will be lots of pain in this relationship. Yes, we know exactly how it is going to end. However, there are many beautiful moments, moments of love, and life that are worth celebrating even if you have already seen them in your mind’s eye; you haven’t experienced them. 

The juice is worth the squeeze!

Check out the full story collection, but read Six Months and Three Days for sure. 

Beth Tabler

Elizabeth Tabler runs Beforewegoblog and is constantly immersed in fantasy stories. She was at one time an architect but divides her time now between her family in Portland, Oregon, and as many book worlds as she can get her hands on. She is also a huge fan of Self Published fantasy and is on Team Qwillery as a judge for SPFBO5. You will find her with a coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. Find her on: Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest  / Twitter

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