Review – “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim

I’m late on reading this, and I’m not sharing any revlatory information when I recommend “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim (it’s a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Awards for Best Short Story and the 2018 Hugo Awards for Best Short Story), but whatever you’re doing, stop and read it. I make no voting recommendation her, but if it wins those awards, it will be incredibly deserving.

Yoachim uses the ostensible story about wind-up toys with a finite amount of “turns” each day to do all the activities of life to reflect on aging, family, responsibilities, and how one measure’s the worth of their life. I’m finding it hard hard to go into too much detail without potentially relieving the impact of the story, which is incredibly poignant and impactful.

I find the short fiction I enjoy the most lingers on the mind long after I’m done reading it. I know that “Carnival Nine” will haunt me with its beauty and its message for a long time.

I’m copying a piece of one of of the most beautiful paragraphs of prose I’ve read in recent memory after the jump to hide potential spoilers. Absolutely masterful.

I’ve heard it said that every hundred days passes faster than the previous hundred. In childhood, the days stretch out seemingly forever, and we spend our time and turns freely on any whim that catches our fancy. But at the end of our lives, each day becomes an increasingly greater fraction of the time we have remaining, and the moments grow ever more precious.

Please read the whole thing.

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