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The Time Invariance of Snow

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The Devil made a mirror. A physicist broke it and shards fall through reality and changed everything forever in this sci-fi space opera, The Time Invariance of Snow, a Tor.com Original short story from E. Lily Yu. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


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The Devil made a mirror. A physicist broke it and shards fall through reality and changed everything forever in this sci-fi space opera, The Time Invariance of Snow, a Tor.com Original short story from E. Lily Yu. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

30 review for The Time Invariance of Snow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    This Tor short story is a really intriguing mashup of the old Snow Queen fairy tale (where young Kay gets glass in his heart and eye from an evil magic mirror and is whisked away by the Snow Queen, and his friend Gerda sets off on a journey to rescue him) and modern-day physics, with a few twists. It's beautifully written but opaque. You'll probably enjoy this book if you appreciate wry commentary in footnotes and paragraphs like this:Like the fundamental equations of quantum mechanics, like God This Tor short story is a really intriguing mashup of the old Snow Queen fairy tale (where young Kay gets glass in his heart and eye from an evil magic mirror and is whisked away by the Snow Queen, and his friend Gerda sets off on a journey to rescue him) and modern-day physics, with a few twists. It's beautifully written but opaque. You'll probably enjoy this book if you appreciate wry commentary in footnotes and paragraphs like this:Like the fundamental equations of quantum mechanics, like God Himself, the Devil is a time-invariant equation. The shattering of the mirror shivered outward through fields of light cones, near and far, until the shattering itself became eternal, immutable fact. The fragments of the mirror drifted down through pasts, presents, and futures, clinging and cutting, like stardust and razors.Here's the link to this story on Tor's website: https://www.tor.com/2019/12/04/the-ti...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Liked this one. Last of the year! 4 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Richter

    Tor.com Short Story touches on the nature of evil in the form of the Devil's mirror and quantum physic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    actual rating: 3.5 Definitely an intriguing read and the author has a very ethereal writing style, but ultimately just a bit too short to really sink your teeth into. I would love to read a longer piece based on this or maybe something else in the same universe though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews

    Would you trust a magic mirror? This tale did a wonderful job of using metaphors to explain how and why the world had become such a terrible place after the devil’s mirror was accidentally broken. There were footnotes after the final paragraph to explain some of them. I was glad I paused to read each one as it popped up in the text and would suggest that other readers do the same thing. Those footnotes were beautifully written and really helped me to understand some of the more complex metaphors. Would you trust a magic mirror? This tale did a wonderful job of using metaphors to explain how and why the world had become such a terrible place after the devil’s mirror was accidentally broken. There were footnotes after the final paragraph to explain some of them. I was glad I paused to read each one as it popped up in the text and would suggest that other readers do the same thing. Those footnotes were beautifully written and really helped me to understand some of the more complex metaphors. Most of the characters revealed their proper names during the course of the plot. Some were identified by the first letter of their name, and others were described by their occupation or some other label. It was amazing to see how well I got to know them regardless of how they were addressed. The author did a wonderful job of showing who they were as individuals, from their interests to their personality traits. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this story was the ending. The beginning and middle were filled with scenes that didn’t always seem to be related to each other. There were times when I wondered where the author was going and if my theories about it were correct, so it was a joy to see everything coalesce in the end in about the way I hoped it would. The Time Invariance of Snow was the best piece of hard science fiction I’ve read this year. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  6. 4 out of 5

    emily

    this is a lyrical and beautiful piece that doesn't really have a plot so much as a series of musings on The Snow Queen, the concept of fairytales, misogyny, women's wisdom, and other ideas. i'm giving it 4 stars because it's beautifully written, but i would be more inclined to call it a prose poem than a story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Suaad (I just want a cat)

    I'm not gonna rate this story because it was not for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    The Devil, physics, the nature of evil, and The Snow Queen fairy tale. I particularly enjoyed this because, coincidentally, I had watched Frozen 2 this evening, so there was some thematic overlap.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    It's a tricky balancing act to write a story which is full of anger at real injustices, while also giving them a fairytale explanation, and for me this didn't quite pull it off.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This is a fascinating short story that has a familiar feel to it. Taken from the Hans Christian Anderson tale of The Snow Queen, I liked the scifi quality that Yu added and the simplicity of her storytelling.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    A short story that is beautiful and painfully accurate at the same time

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra

    As so many readers here, I love the Tor freebies. Always an excellent choice of an author and his/her's short fiction. This was no exception. E. Lily Yu manages to combine quantum physics, religion and an Andersen tale into a fantastic tiny shard of a story (or rather a poem) about the philosophy of time and finding one's purpose in life. At least that was my own conclusion, looking through the glass.

  13. 5 out of 5

    karenbee

    I will come thinking to rescue you. That my tears will wash the glass from your eye and melt the ice in your heart. That the Snow Queen’s spell will break, and you will be free. But when I arrive I will find no Snow Queen, no enchantment, no wicked, beautiful woman who stole you away. Only you. I feel like I wasn't smart enough for this one. It happens. I liked the idea of it, though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Akemi G.

    Clever adaptation of The Snow Queen. I like it, and now I want to read more stories by this author.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Selena

    Quotes I loved: Once, the Devil made a mirror, for the Devil was vain. -- Say, such and such is the shape of your soul, though you wear mask upon mask to hide it. Theodora, G. said, a wolf is the shape of your soul, and there’s blood on its muzzle and mud on its pelt. --

  16. 5 out of 5

    elizabeth jovena

    footnotes footnotes footnotes yes

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Too stylized for me... I don't do well with that sort of thing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I enjoyed this story but am not entirely sure why! Very unusual.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Molly Perling

    I am a sucker for retellings of The Snow Queen that really /use/ the fairy tale, so I loved this completely. A fractured, grown-up, vulnerable version.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I don't know, i'm confused ???????

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cerys

  22. 4 out of 5

    egelantier

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kaitie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vivien

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

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