REVIEW: “Riot of the Wind and Sun” by Jennifer Lee Rossman

Review of Jennifer Lee Rossman, “Riot of the Wind and Sun”, in Glass and Gardens: Solar Punk Summers, edited by Sarena Ulibarri, (World Weaver Press, 2018): 29-37 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology).

The premise of this short — one of the shorter ones in the anthology — starts off quite pessimistic: We often look to the wind and sun to provide us alternative power supplies, providing us with basically endless energy. But there is only as much energy as there are turbines and solar panels and converters and storage for what has been converted, and in Rossman’s future Australia, that power is often hoarded by the major cities, sending the outback villages into blackout.

But the premise of this anthology is stories of a more hopeful future, and the story did not disappoint in its hopeful twist, becoming a story of a village working together to put themselves back on the map, quite literally, and which — and this is truly meant as a compliment — reminded me of nothing so much as Horton Hears a Who.

REVIEW: “Earth Music” by Jennifer Lee Rossman

Review of Jennifer Lee Rossman, “Earth Music”, Syntax and Salt 4, 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Tiffany Crystal

I really really like this work. I love the premise, and I loved how Ve is blind, but was still allowed on the trip. Instead of her people thinking that she was defective and leaving her behind, they brought her with them to Earth, and I love that. I love how, even without looking it up, I knew exactly what song was included on that disk, the one that Ve was so obsessed with. I love the way Ms. Rossman lets us imagine the aliens the way we want to, while still giving us hints of how they’re different from us.

I absolutely adore Ve, just all around. Something about her…she just seems sweet. Like one of those people you see and you instantly want to smile and hug them. Those are some of my favorite people, and that’s the vibe I get from her. I love how she comes across as intelligent, or intuitive, at least. She knows she has a weakness, but she thinks of how she can use it as a strength for her people. She isn’t afraid to put herself on the line, to try and ensure the best for her people. I love so much about the story, and most of it centers around Ve…which makes sense, considering she’s the focus of the story, but anyway.

The ending, ah, the ending. It’s so bittersweet. I can’t decide if I like it the way it is, or if I’m mad cause there’s not more to read. Either way, this is a gem, and I recommend it.