Reviews and Other Forms of Attention






I haven't updated this page in some time; that's next on the to-do list for web page maintainance. So for now here are critical responses to some of my earlier stories.

Science Fiction

"Latency Time," Asimov's Science Fiction, July, 2001.

My first pro sale, and I managed to get four reviews of the story. It also made the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2001. See what the reviewers had to say:

Ruth Nestvold's "Latency Time" is a near-future political mystery about a US researcher investigating the origins of a plague in the Balkan country of Montenegro. Ostensibly pursuing a business deal for her employer, her suspicions of a conspiracy grow when she learns that all the old women she's spoken to about the plague, via a translator, seem to have been speaking from a common script. While Nestvold's story has a minor SFnal revelation concerning that plague, it's compelling mostly for the authenticity the author brings to the way scientific concerns blend with social and political complexities in such a war-torn region as the Balkans.

Mark R. Kelly, Locus, August 2001

Nestvold's protagonist is a researcher, traveling through [the Balkans] when unusual things begin to pique her curiosity. The story revolves around the potential building of a resort in the once war torn region. The resort has both good and bad ramifications and the protagonist must balance her job, which is to scout the area, with everything else she is finding, including a handsome tour guide. Nestvold does an excellent job of scene setting and the plot is intriguing, although Nestvold's choice of making this a budding romance turns our eyes from what could be truly powerful material. It's interesting in any case both for the content and the quality of the writing.

Steve Sawicki, Science Fiction Chronicle, October 2001

See also the online review at

"Looking Through Lace," novella, Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2003.

- Shortlisted for the Tiptree award and to be included in the Tiptree award anthology, Sex, The Future, & Chocolate Chip Cookies.

- Nominated for the Sturgeon Award for the best short fiction of 2003.

The reviews of "Looking Through Lace" weren't as positive as those of "Latency Time," but I got a lot more fan mail. (Interesting given the award nominations!) And it did get me named one of "Ursula K. Le Guin's natural successors" (Nick Gevers's Locus review). However, he comes to the conclusion that the story ultimately doesn't quite work. At least I'm getting my first lessons in dealing with negative reviews!

The other Locus review by Rich Horton comes to a similar conclusion: "Nestvold is venturing into the territory opened by the likes of Le Guin and Eleanor Arnason -- heady company, and if she doesn't quite measure up yet, she shows plenty of potential. A promising story, if not fully successful."

On the bright side, Tangent Online has a very positive review by Phil Friel. But be careful if you haven't read the story yet -- this review has some definite spoilers.



"Princes and Priscilla," Strange Horizons, April 8, 2002.

"Princes and Priscilla" made the Secondary List for the James Tiptree Award.



Cutting Edges: Or, A Web of Women

First published on disk in a DOS version in 1995, Cutting Edges, a novel-length hyperfiction, is now available online in an HTML version. In February 2000 it was given a place in the Virtual Progressive Dinner Party, one of only thirty-nine hyperfiction works by women writers chosen.
    And here from Mick Underwood's analysis of Web fiction:

If you've got the time to do it justice, Ruth Nestvold's Cutting Edges gives an intriguing glimpse of how fiction could develop on the Web. If you don't have time to read it properly now, bookmark it for later - it repays attentive and exploratory reading.

Other pages of mine:

Clarion West 98 | Cutting Edges: Or, A Web of Women | Joe's Heartbeat in Budapest | The Aphra Behn Page | ECHO

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© Ruth Nestvold, 2004.