Time," Asimov's Science Fiction, July, 2001.
My first pro sale, and I managed to get four reviews of the story. It also made the
Locus Recommended Reading List for 2001. See what the reviewers
had to say:
Ruth Nestvold's "Latency Time" is a near-future political mystery about a US researcher
investigating the origins of a plague in the Balkan country of Montenegro. Ostensibly
pursuing a business deal for her employer, her suspicions of a conspiracy grow when
she learns that all the old women she's spoken to about the plague, via a translator,
seem to have been speaking from a common script. While Nestvold's story has a minor SFnal
revelation concerning that plague, it's compelling mostly for the authenticity the author
brings to the way scientific concerns blend with social and political complexities
in such a war-torn region as the Balkans.
Mark R. Kelly, Locus, August 2001
Nestvold's protagonist is a researcher, traveling through [the Balkans] when unusual things
begin to pique her curiosity. The story revolves around the potential building of a resort
in the once war torn region. The resort has both good and bad ramifications and the
protagonist must balance her job, which is to scout the area, with everything else she is
finding, including a handsome tour guide. Nestvold does an excellent job of scene setting
and the plot is intriguing, although Nestvold's choice of making this a budding romance turns
our eyes from what could be truly powerful material. It's interesting in any case both
for the content and the quality of the writing.
Steve Sawicki, Science Fiction Chronicle, October 2001
See also the online review at BestSF.net.
"Looking Through Lace," novella, Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2003.
- Shortlisted for the Tiptree award and to be included in the Tiptree award anthology, Sex, The Future, & Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Nominated for the Sturgeon Award for the best short fiction of 2003.
The reviews of "Looking Through Lace" weren't as positive as those of "Latency Time," but I got a lot more fan mail. (Interesting given the award nominations!) And it did get me named one of "Ursula K. Le Guin's natural successors" (Nick Gevers's Locus review). However, he comes to the conclusion that the story ultimately doesn't quite work. At least I'm getting my first lessons in dealing with negative reviews!
The other Locus review by Rich Horton comes to a similar conclusion: "Nestvold is venturing into the territory opened by the likes of Le Guin and Eleanor Arnason -- heady company, and if she doesn't quite measure up yet, she shows plenty of potential. A promising story, if not fully successful."
On the bright side, Tangent Online has a very positive review by Phil Friel. But be careful if you haven't read the story yet -- this review has some definite spoilers.
"Princes and Priscilla," Strange Horizons, April 8, 2002.
"Princes and Priscilla" made the Secondary List for the James Tiptree Award.