Friday, April 02, 2021

Five SF&F character pairs with ever-changing relationships

Catriona Silvey was born in Glasgow and grew up in Scotland and England. After collecting an unreasonable number of degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Chicago, and Edinburgh, she moved back to Cambridge where she lives with her husband and son. Her short stories have been performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Silvey's new novel is Meet Me in Another Life.

At she tagged five science-fiction and fantasy character pairs with ever-changing relationships, including:
Kin and Miranda—Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

When time agent Kin Stewart gets stranded in the past, he breaks the rules. Instead of minimising contact to avoid corrupting the timeline, he gets married and starts a family. Eighteen years later, the agency arrives to find him embedded in 2014 with a wife and a teenage daughter, Miranda.

Forced to return to the future, Kin tries to continue the fraught task of parenting across a distance of 128 years. From his desk in the time agency, he scatters messages through the years of his daughter’s life, watching Miranda spiral into different versions of herself as a result of his interventions. Through Kin’s attempts to stay in touch with his daughter, the novel enacts a parental fantasy of being able to undo past mistakes, of finding out through trial and error exactly who our children need us to be. Kin doesn’t always get it right: at first, every attempt he makes to contact Miranda creates a new fissure in their relationship. In order to be the father she needs, he must realise that she is more than he ever imagined or projected. ‘Whoever you become,’ he tells her towards the end, ‘I can never know’. And it would be true, except that Miranda finds a way to break the rules in turn. As Miranda becomes her own father’s protector and symbolic ancestor, these two subvert the bounds of the parent-child relationship and come to understand each other fully.
Read about another entry on the list.

My Book, The Movie: Here and Now and Then.

--Marshal Zeringue