Adventures in Reading reviews The Clockwork Chickadee

Clarkesworld does the very smart thing of making electronic advance review copies available for the magazine. Joe Sherry at Adventures in Reading reviewed “The Clockwork Chickadee” and includes what is my now my favorite compliment ever.

The story is, in turn, playful and charming, well thought out and deliberate, and Kowal appears to have written her own version of an O Henry story.

It works.

O’Henry was really my first love in the world of short stories. Sure, I’d read others and enjoyed them. Really, my first love should have been Ray Bradbury, but I think O’Henry captured me because his stories were deceptively simple. There were no elements of wonder, like Martians or rocket ships, just people living ordinary lives. And then, with one turn of phrase, he could change the entire meaning of everything you’ve read. When people want to write twist endings, what they really want is to write an O. Henry story.

Take a moment and go read “The Skylight Room.”

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5 Responses

  1. Maggie

    What a wonderful review!

    I must admit that as far as the short story goes Bradbury was my first love, but O’Henry was definitely my second. I adore “The Skylight Room”, and have since 4th grade.

  2. David Loftus

    Folks, the pen name of William Sydney Porter was O. Henry — he was not Irish. I only really got to know O. Henry within the past two years, although my grandmother gifted me with several antique volumes of his stories many years ago. But in the past 24 months I’ve read a number of O. Henry stories aloud for my monthly “Story Time for Grownups,” and recorded several with friends last year for the International Tales web site for children. The twist endings are among the least of his attractions for me now; he’s so wonderful with the language, playful and sly.

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