REVIEW: “Into Nothingness” by T. D. Walker

Review of T. D. Walker, “Into Nothingness”, Luna Station Quarterly 38 (2019): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

My favorite type of science fiction is the sort where it hits close enough to home to be believable. If someone had told me the premise of this story in advance of reading it, I probably would’ve scoffed and said “not really my type”; but the way that Walker drew me in and fed me details, one at a time and not too quickly, I felt like I believed it at every step. So in case you’re like me, I won’t tell you the premise of the story so as not to ruin it for you.

The way the initial premise of the story was developed would alone have won my approval; but the story was further improved by a quadripartite structure that allowed me to see each of the characters from a different perspective. First, we hear Madison’s side of the story, of what happened after her twin sister Mia was in a horrible car accident. Then it is Mia’s turn to give us a lens both into the aftermath of the accident and into their sisterly relation. In the final two parts of the story, it is two outside perspectives that view the sisters — two more versions of what happened. I loved the way the four parts worked together, and the distinctive voices that were present in each.

REVIEW: “All the Songs the Little Birds Sing” by T. D. Walker

Review of T. D. Walker, “All the Songs the Little Birds sing”, Luna Station Quarterly 32 (2017): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This story has one of those slippery settings where it could be radically other, radically elsewhere or elsewhen, or it could also be just around the corner, today or tomorrow.

Some stories make it clear what kind of stories they are from the beginning; not this one, not for me at least. And yet, even without having any idea of where it started or where it was going, I kept reading. Walker’s language is tight and precise and allows us a very clear insight into Alice’s head. Alice herself is the sort of main character I’ve found myself looking for more and more lately — someone who is older than me, who has found a sense of herself, who understands how she fits into the world. “Alice was everything, and she wanted to live that way,” Walker tells us. That’s the sort of heroine I aspire to be.

There was a lot left out of this story, the history of how things got to be this way only hinted at. In some stories, these gaps can be frustrating. In this one, I wanted to know more, of course, but I was also satisfied with what I got.