Friday, March 4, 2011

Three Oranges

Short Story by D. Elizabeth Wasden
Text and Audio published free by Clarkesworld

Stepan is ordered to use the Three Oranges, as in the fairy tale (but with more fairy sex), as a bribe to get Sergei Prokofiev, writer of "The Love for Three Oranges" the opera, to return to Stalinist Russia. Stepan wants to keep the Oranges for himself and defect to Canada.

You should definitely read the fairy tale, or at least a summary of the fairy tale or a summary of the plot of the opera (see my various links) before reading this story if you want to have much clue what is going on. Or listen to/read the story twice, that works just as well. But some bits of the secret fairy magic Cold War are more obvious with some background.

It's a neat setting and a neat type of magic, and I appreciate the lesson learned by sadistic Stepan. I really enjoy how this world works. But there isn't much to the actual story, although I can't get over how much I like the oranges and the magic left in the world. Also the writing is good.

3 oranges out of 5.

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