The Past Is Red

Catherynne M. Valente
The Past Is Red Cover

The Past Is Red


I'm not going to lie; although Valente is a fabulous convention panelist (and if you ever get the chance to see her talk in person, you should definitely grab it), most of her fiction has hugely missed the mark for me.

And I almost DNF'ed this story in the first part, which is the novelette "The Future Is Blue", because all of the callbacks to current culture were getting tedious.

But I'm glad I stuck with it, because the author really pulls all of the threads together into a tapestry of grimness, loss, regret, longing, bitterness, and, above all, hope. And the fact that the hope manages to shine through the rest of it is absolutely an achievement.

Content Warning: the main character is subjected to a great deal of physical and verbal harassment and abuse in the first half of the story.