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Changeling: A Novella (Conversation Pieces, Volume 3) Paperback – October 30, 2004
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Nancy Jane Moore is a writer to watch, if her novella, Changeling, is any indication. It's an eminently satisfying, sweetly unraveling story centering on a wheelchair using woman who rolls through walls into a dimension her parents frequented when young... --Books to Watch Out For
Changeling is recommended to genre readers, regardless of their interest in the feminist sub genre of science fiction. --Apex Digest, January 2007
About the Author
Nancy Jane Moore began making up stories when she discovered that some of the tales she wanted to read didn’t exist. Her earliest stories involved female heroes and swordfights and were acted out in her grandmother’s backyard with help from her little sister. But somewhere along the way Moore got sidetracked by law school. She practiced law in Texas and Washing¬ton, DC, eventually running a nonprofit firm specializ¬ing in low-income housing before quitting to work as a legal editor.
She continued to play with fiction and in the early 1990s began to take her writing seriously. In 1997, she attended Clarion West. Moore’s stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, several magazines, and on the Web. “Walking Contradiction,” published in the an¬thology Imaginings, made the 2004 Gaylactic Spectrum Award short list and “Three O’Clock in the Morning,” published in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, garnered an honorable mention from The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Her first novel, The Weave, came out in 2015 from Aqueduct.
Moore has trained in the martial arts for twenty-five years and holds a black belt in Aikido. She lives in Oakland, CA.
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The story follows Maggie, a girl who has what her parents insist are vivid dreams, but which she knows are actual visits into another world, a city where she was born and where she belongs. Her parents become angry (her father) and upset (her mother) when she speaks about it, or when they see the pictures she draws or journals she keeps, so she learns to keep it from them - but she goes there nearly every night through her childhood and into her teens. This is the story of her exploration of that world and what - and how - it is.
I would have loved to love this novella, as the story synopsis sounds terrific - but Maggie is not someone I want to spend any time with, and nor are any of the minor characters; her girl friend comes close, and might have been quite likeable if there had been room for more development. Perhaps the writing has something to do with this, as - though of excellent quality - it is somewhat cold and unsympathetic. Given what happens to Maggie in the time between her childhood and college, which is behind the scenes, too much of a bent in the opposite direction would have been a bigger mistake; that might have been what the writer was trying to avoid. It's a shame; the city was described so wonderfully, I would have loved to have learned more about it, traveled it more with Maggie - preferably very young Maggie; I was surprised at how little of that was told.
Other reviewers elsewhere have commented on the sex scenes in the story, and I'll echo that: it was a bit of a shock. These scenes were quite graphic, relying heavily on crude slang, and a little startling after having just left Maggie at either eight and ten years old.
I'd be happy to read more about that city ... though I could happily do without the "f***ing".
When I first read this story, the descriptions of the city didn't affect me that much. I was living in New York at the time. I was pretty sure I'd seen such views off the balcony, and there was no new information here. Now that I've been living in the country for a number of years, I'm not so sure. This glittery city is beautiful and I too want to go there now, just like Maggie. Alas, I can only find it in my dreams. Think I'll go order up some rich, spicy dinner and prepare for a nice long nap, see what I come up with.
Kudos to Moore for a story about a fully-realized disabled person, complete with love life, dreams, and chutzpah.