Pale Roses by Michael Moorcock

18586183Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  3 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

Time travel was mentioned in the story, but it didn’t seem to have any real role. The narrator of the story appeared to live in the past, relative to when the events in the story take place (at “the end of time”), and some or most of the characters (at the end of time…) seemed to be people who had time travelled to that time from their own times. This aspect of the story was pretty confusing.

What the story appeared to be about, more, was the character of Werther, the main protagonist. Frustrated at being always in control of events around him – he’s able to control the scenery, the weather, and the like with the use of power rings that he wears on his fingers – he despairs of a good ‘scene’ that his contemporaries will praise him for. Something that will truly make him feel satisfied, happy. I get this: life must be pretty boring when NOTHING happens that you do not make to happen.

Then, one day, his favourite companion, Mistress Christia, disappears, ostensibly going on a visit. But she never reappears. To match his mood, Werther creates a storm, and suddenly a young girl appears. What unfolds is how he reacts to this young woman, who is not something/someone of his creation.

A nice enough story, I suppose, but barely classifiable as time travel.

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