Friday, January 16, 2009

Hot and cold

Right in the midst of the coldest cold snap in recent memory (it's actually warmer in Yellowknife today than it is here in Ottawa) the latest issue of Asimov's has hit the stands, containing my story of Arctic paranoia "The Coldest War." Buy two copies so you'll have one to burn for warmth!

A few reviews are in already, ranging from fair to good:

I actually impressed IROSF's Lois Tilton last time, so I think I won't ever get to do it again: she gives the story an OK review but has some plausibility complaints. (She always does an excerpt from my stories, though, so I must be doing something right.) No link, if you're really determined to see it you can find it for yourself.

Quick but positive review from SFRevu's Sam Tomaino, who writes "
Matthew Johnson's "The Coldest War" will chill your bones because it takes place in the frozen north, an island in dispute between Canada and Denmark. Stan is one of two Canadians stationed up there and must fire a flare every day to prove they inhabit the island. Johnson's fashions a good little tale of survival."

And the best comes from The Fix's Val Grimm (also a big "Lagos"-booster) who writes "
In almost six months of reviewing this magazine, I’ve read some really remarkable work. But this is the first time that what I’ve read in Asimov’s has wriggled its way into my dreams, where I found myself knee-deep in the freezing darkness of “The Coldest War.”"

If I were a better person I'd stop there, but I can't resist quoting some more: "Read this story and you will feel cold and alone in a world where the strategic significance of islands in the once perpetually frozen Northwest Passage causes conflict between historically placid nations (the title is clever too). Honestly, the rationale for his story is unimportant in the final analysis: Johnson shows his craft in the masterful claustrophobia, paranoia, and formless threat with which he surrounds protagonist and reader, alone in the dark trying to survive while assailed by faceless enemies and a hostile environment."

Not bad!

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