One of the really enjoyable things about listening to audiobook anthologies like Women Destroy Science Fiction is how neatly they fold into walking the doggo. I end up glancing down, seeing how long the story will be, and adjusting the walk accordingly. Sometimes, though, I end up outpacing a story and starting a new one and that’s what happened with “The Lonely Sea in the Sky.” The doggo says thank you, Amal El-Mohtar. He got a super-long walk for this one.
The story here started in such a strange place—with a woman writing a journal, and quite angry, about her diagnosis of a rare mental disorder where she’s, well, obsessed with diamonds. It takes a while for “The Lonely Sea in the Sky” to give the reader enough details to start to see what’s really at play, but it’s worth the wait, and the unreality of the start of the tale frames the rest in sharp relief. A lake of liquid diamond on Neptune. Quantum entanglement. A new technology that will change everything. And, again, a woman obsessed with diamonds.
The psychology of the woman, the unfolding events (read by a whole cast of voices, which really added pop to the performance), and the ultimate destination of “The Lonely Sea in the Sky” all come together to bring the reader to a payoff worth the journey and then some.