So I came across the title of a book: “The Defrosting of Charlotte Small”, by Annabel Giles.
Because I’m a science fiction reader, I assumed it should be read the science-fictional way, which is, literally. There would be a cryogenically frozen woman, and there would be drama in her defrosting. Maybe she was the only survivor of a catastrophe, or of some far distant past. Maybe her origin was a mystery. Maybe it was a tale of love, loss and cyborgization.
Well, in a word, no.
The blurb for the real Defrosting of Charlotte Small was:
After flattening a friend’s dog, carelessly losing not one job but three, and waving her daughter off to spend Christmas overseas, Charlotte hits the wall. Years of suppressed heartbreak and disappointment overwhelm her and the fine thread of sanity finally snaps. Consequently, having thrown the entire contents of her house on to the street, she’s found by the police lying on her back under a Christmas tree with an empty bottle of Port and a half-eaten lump of Stilton.
Charlotte needs to claw her way back from the brink and start again. But can she build a bigger, brighter and better existence this time around?
Which sounds morbid enough to be fun, and an interesting book generally speaking; but I must say I was disappointed a little bit.
What of Charles Small, an astronomer called to the Io Base with great expense, hurry and secrecy, only to find himself on the surface of Europa, the ice moon, and then below — and in a great echoing sea-chamber of the Feynion Detection Project, where in a block of floating ice, something unexpected has been found.
A woman, twenty-five years of age; just the age that Charles’s wife, Charlotte Small, was when he last saw her, one hundred years ago, right before the greatest natural disaster in human history.
What of the answers to such questions as —
What agency put Charlotte Small into the ice? What alien, as it might be? And why, oh, why the heck why? And is human science enough to defrost her, and get some answers?
Was the California Sinking Comet of 2099 really a natural disaster? And if it wasn’t, is Charlotte’s discovery a warning, or an opportunity, either for victory, or for parlay?
What will Charlotte Small have to say, if she ever gets to open her mouth again?
No mythy-mountain shit, no time travel, no Goddidit nor miracles or predestination or “fate”, no precocious kids or cute animals, and all things are answered in the end instead of this dissolving into a melange of magical-realistic vaguerie. Also, lasers. Buy it now — “The Defrosting of Charlotte Small: A Science Fiction Novel”!
This fictional precognition of mine takes me to places like this.