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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Giants at the End of the World" by Leena Likitalo

Appeared in Writers of the Future 30.  Author interviews with Hardwick and Waylines.  

An alternate 19th century (world?) where giants exist and you can ride a wagon as part of a caravan to the "End of the World."  Elai, the daughter of an important society man, hides her identity and initially refuses to answer questions.

Giants are mere if grand figures crossing from the sea, striding across the desert to the snow-capped mountains where they sleep among the glaciers.  Her father plans to build a railroad that would damage the area, despoiling the ecology. Elai hopes to travel to the edge and throw herself off to get her father's attention. Spoiler: She changes her mind.

The beautiful imagery mostly serves a thematic purpose:  the giants of our past or future that cause us worry.  Likitalo presents a moving tale, but most of the story is off-stage.  The setting is a set up for conversation, mirroring strengths and weaknesses in Hardwick's.  Stunning setting furniture and moving story that don't yet go together in the living room.  Both may simply require a larger hunk of story--something where their actions have consequence in their unravelings.

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