Friday Review: The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu

The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere: A Tor.Com OriginalThe Water That Falls on You from Nowhere: A Tor.Com Original by John Chu
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read this since it was nominated for a Hugo Award (and won) last year. It’s a well-written story, with very human characters and a timely, but not overdone, theme. It concerns a gay Chinese man who has not told his family that he is gay, and has not introduced them to his partner. The SF (I guess) element is the mysterious water that falls from the air, indoors or out, anytime someone tells a lie. It started suddenly, out of nowhere, and no one knows why or where it comes from. And that’s all the explanation that we get. It seemed a bit of a stretch to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of stories out there where every detail is not explained absolutely. I’ve read more than a few. But this seems a bit contrived and just something stuck in there to get a speculative fiction tag. I’m not even sure I’d consider it sci-fi. More magical realism, perhaps? I know the boundaries of genre are stretching, but still, the speculative/sci-fi element should be an integral part of the story, and here, it is used more for literary effect. I was left a bit confused.

Despite that, it is a well-written story. The story works. The characters are dimensional, including a few family members that, no matter your orientation, I think we all could identify with. But sci-fi? I can’t quite get there.

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5 thoughts on “Friday Review: The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu

  1. I saw about this book, but never picked it up because I don’t think it would be interesting. I’d read it if it were a comedy though šŸ™‚


  2. I remembering reading this story and enjoying it, but there was another story I enjoyed more. My memory is terrible though so I can’t recall it right now and. . . I lost all my favorites when I switched to the new computer from my old, dying one. If remember it, I’ll post it here. I know it was from the Hugo’s the same year as this story.


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