Book Review: Colors of the Immortal Palette by Caroline M. Yoachim (three stars)
(Uncanny Magazine, Mar/Apr 2021)
“You are the foreigner they fear. The outsider.” “And a woman besides,” I mutter. “If I don’t carve out space for myself, they will steal whatever inspiration they like from my culture and my art and erase me from the conversation.”
Interesting concept: The twentieth and twenty-first centuries as seen by a mixed race immortal who hangs out (mostly) in Paris and Chicago. She’s an artist, hence the palette trope. Well done perspective and inner voice.
“The coldness of a headline that speaks not of the people killed but of the power the American country now wields.”
Quibble: the protagonist knew everything that happened as soon as it happened. In real life there’s more uncertainty. For example, the first use of an atomic bomb.
“The new generation isn’t weighed down by centuries of history, the experience of how far we’ve come. Their basis of reference is the time of their childhood, not of mine.”
Yoachim got the perspective right, especially her disconnect from the new generation’s point of view. Wanted to like Mariko.
“As a tree grows, so too do its roots.”
(2022 Hugo Awards novelette finalist)