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Some premonition of that great power stirred and swayed these young foresters who traversed the solemn woodlands with soft-footed silent care.
They stopped to listen to a bird’s song; they pressed forward again eagerly, parting the branches, – speaking to each other rarely and in whispers; the young man going first and Sylvia following, fascinated, a few steps behind, with her gray eyes dark with excitement.
It's Jorge Luis Borges, the creator of miniature fables of humans' grappling with their double-edged longing for and terror of infinity and omniscience.
The Vander Meers sidestep territorial quagmires by defining sci-fi, simply and effectively, as fiction that depicts the future in a stylized or realistic manner.
This is Robert Coover, so we shouldn’t expect the normal rules of the space-time continuum to apply.
Jewett is very careful to keep his point of view out of the line of sight. What the reader gets instead is Sylvia’s young, restless, and bored, worldview.
She is young and innocent and learning anything and everything.
The quick-firing plot points, often joined as non-sequiturs, recreate the jumble of memories one finds later in life, looking back (especially where alcohol is involved). The selection: During the ceremony, they both carry Kewpie dolls that probably have some barely hidden significance, and indeed do. The selection: There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself.
The protagonist forgets crucial information but remembers comparatively pointless details, such as the many carnival toys his date has won. The child she bears him, his or another’s, reminds him, as if he needed reminding, that time is fast moving on. I know some people can’t stomach that kind of thing, but that’s just not where I’m coming from. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.