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.
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.”