Read wakulla springs by Andy Duncan Ellen Klages Online


Wakulla Springs, in the deep jungle of the Florida panhandle, is the deepest submerged freshwater cave system in the world. In its unfathomable depths, a variety of curious creatures have left a record of their coming, of their struggle to survive, and of their eventual end. And that's just the local human beings over the last seventy-five years. Then there are the prehistWakulla Springs, in the deep jungle of the Florida panhandle, is the deepest submerged freshwater cave system in the world. In its unfathomable depths, a variety of curious creatures have left a record of their coming, of their struggle to survive, and of their eventual end. And that's just the local human beings over the last seventy-five years. Then there are the prehistoric creatures...and, just maybe, something else.Ranging from the late 1930s to the present day, "Wakulla Springs" is a tour de force of the human, the strange, and the miraculous....

Title : wakulla springs
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ISBN : 18621827
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 139 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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wakulla springs Reviews

  • karen
    2019-05-11 01:26

    Most girls who grew up in Shadeville knew the piney woods as well as they knew their own kitchens—the snakey places to watch out for, the shortcuts, the swimming holes and sinks, the back ways into everywhere. So it was a only matter of minutes before Vergie stopped at a narrow break in the dense green wall, and they stepped off the wiry grass and disappeared from view.i have had this one on my to-read radar for a long time, but each time i considered it for my weekly tor-short journey, i would see the word "novella" and move along, because i gotta be quick and sleek about my free tor shorts in both reading and reviewing. today, however, i was feeling languid despite the number of very real to-do's hammering at my brain-door, and decided to give a novella a chance. but whoooo-eeee - this is a monster of a novella; well into "short novel" territory and there was nothing quick or sleek about me today. as long as you know what you're getting into, this is a great choice for you other tor-devotees. it's long compared to most of the other free tor shorts, but it's very well-structured and it holds the reader's interest through a number of linked narratives progressing through time, all centered around the mysterious wakulla springs in florida and all involving racism and hollywood to some degree. it's a little winky to write about segregation during the age of black-and-white movies, but the story doesn't belabor the point, it's just something that's there in the background as the individual stories unfold. i was slightly disappointed once the shape of the novella became clear - i loved the first POV character, mayola williams, very much, and was disappointed to have her become backgrounded in the following segment in favor of the POV of her son levi. it was only a mild disappointment, though, and once the other segments developed, i became easily invested in them. but if we are being 100% honest, mayola is still my favorite and i wish she'd managed to live out all of her dreams. the nature-writing is especially good - both familiar and otherworldly, full of dangers known and unknown and superstitiously suspected. there are some striking and memorable "social" scenes, mostly around the topic of segregation; who is permitted to swim in a particular body of water based on the color of their skin because of who "owns" the water, while creatures much older than man's petty laws continue to prowl as they always have, and always will, unaffected and timeless. there is a particularly grim-humor scene involving a segregated water fountain and an actor in blackface that feels like it should be shaken out a little and directed at people who are really concerned about genital scrutiny and who should be allowed to use which bathrooms & etc. i know i said before that this doesn't belabor the point about black-and-white movies and segregation, but there are still a lot of subtextual worms rooting around in ideas of appearance and artifice, what is skin deep and what is essential. not just in that drinking fountain scene, although a white extra in blackface trying to use the whites-only drinking fountain being scolded by a black man is as ready-for-hollywood as it gets, but even outside of the hollywood invasion, the idea of what is "seen" and what is kept behind the scenes also applies:"...Odell say they looking for girls to work in the Lodge up at the springs.”“Doing what?”“Kitchen work. Cleaning rooms. Maybe some waitressing too. I don’t know ’bout that, though. White folks don’t care much who make their food, but seems they real particular ’bout who puts it on the table.”overall, it's a beautifully-written story, but it's not really SF/F. there are moments of dubious magic, and there are certainly fortuitous meetings and coincidences and maybe a talking animal, but it's mostly just about people making their way through a world designed to shut them out and the similar occurrence in the natural world as boundaries blur; as humans venture into the wild for tourists' delight, wild animals run through hotels to less-delighted reactions, and invasive species are introduced, adapt, and flourish in water deep enough to hold many secrets. a lovely story, dark and deep, which you should read while i get on this lengthy to-do it for yourself here:

  • Nataliya
    2019-04-19 21:15

    First things first: Yes, you may be fooled thinking you are reading a sci-fi/fantasy novella - and you can't be faulted for that given the nominations for Hugo and Nebula and the World Fantasy Award. But honestly, the closest this story came to drinking an afternoon tea with even just magical realism, let alone any kind of SFF, would be the last paragraph only (and what an awesome paragraph it was!), and even then its flight of fancy is little but a tease.Yes, despite the nominations and publication by Tor it's just good ole lit'rary fiction, a beautiful lyrical historical novella spanning a few generations in the Jim Crow laws Florida, in breathtaking Wakulla Springs, with a few Hollywood B-list movies forming the backdrop. If this does not sound like your cup of tea, that's too bad, because this novella is a lovely read. It's slow and calm and fluid and quite enchanting, full of quiet admiration and introspection, and yet vibrantly vivid in painting a timeless, crisp and unexpectedly magical picture.There's little plot as such here. What we have is really a few expanded character-based sketches that give us glimpses into the life of the Williams family from the 1940s until the present day and while at it paint a mesmerizing picture of a little corner of Florida where their lives take place, with the beautiful and the ugly all drawn with skill and love and wonderful care. There's Mayola's desire to rise above the expected in the world of Jim Crow laws. There's Levi's love for the Springs and pains of growing up. There's Anna's brief journey into the Wakulla Springs State Park leading to the closing paragraph that continues to make me smile every time I think of it. There are little connections throughout the stories of the three that are surprisingly well-developed for such a short story. And even the weaker 3rd and 4th parts of the story can't overshadow the powerful impression of the first 2 parts.Yes, there's a constant suggestion of something *else*, something more, something unseen and magical bubbling under the surface - metaphorically and literally both - something almost haunting and beautiful, and maddeningly but quietly beckoning, something that makes you almost taste the carefree swimming in clear waters on a stiflingly hot summer day. And even though it's not quite fantasy, it's still quite fantastic.And all I want now is to run to the water and jump in and just float for a while with my face in the water and eyes open, looking into the clear depths and letting my mind just rest for a while in the crisp blue coolness. 4/5 stars.Read it free on

  • Richard Derus
    2019-04-27 20:21

    Rating: 4* of five**2018 UPDATE The gents at PS Publishing have made a gorgeous hardcover of this lovely tale available here**If I could afford $30 for a book I've already read and really liked, I'd put my card where my keyboard is and get this.I read Nebula-nominated novella WAKULLA SPRINGS and gave the original a good going-over.Lots to think about, said in lush prose, and plotted beautifully.

  • David
    2019-04-18 21:37

    This was an excellent multi-generational story, set in Wakulla Springs, Florida. Starting in the 30s, Hollywood stars visit the (segregated) resort to film jungle scenes, from Johnny Weismuller's Tarzan to Creature from the Black Lagoon. Magic, mostly of the Hollywood sort, permeates the tale, but only towards the end does it truly intrude upon the characters' more or less mundane existences.This is a story about growing up black in segregated Florida, and growing up starry eyed with Hollywood heroes and black and white monster movies, and growing up with a love of swimming and not allowed to swim in the springs when white people can see you.Mayola is a dreamy, well-read girl who becomes a maid at the hotel like her mother, but a bit of Hollywood touches her and leaves her with a son, Levi. Levi watches her mother's boyfriend come back from the Korean War and challenge the resort's segregated policy, and then dreams of becoming a professional swimmer himself when Hollywood comes filming at the springs again. Levi's daughter returns to Florida as a biologist, tracking strange creatures in the swamps and unaware of the stranger ones she doesn't see.There is a timeless quality to this story, and the writing was superb. All the characters were real and fixed in time and place. Skunk Apes and 12-foot alligators and Hollywood stars in rubber monster suits all seemed equally part of the environment.It's only very loosely "fantasy" and seems more like a literary novella with a touch of the fantastic. But highly recommended.

  • Cathy
    2019-04-30 00:20

    Boring. It isn't speculative fiction, it's historical fiction. And although the historical fiction elements are enjoyable, the story is very slow paced and not in a good way. It wasn't a lazy, that's what life was like in that part of Florida in the heat kind of pace, it was just dull. If I was looking for a nice historical fiction story it wouldn't have bothered me quite as much, but I kept waiting for the interesting part to happen and it didn't and it was frustrating. And even though the first two sections were pretty good, I certainly felt for some of the characters, the last two brought it down, which left me even more disappointed. It finally had a glimmer of a fantasy element and it was, well, dumb. And I was really disappointed at the end, it didn't come to anything satisfying. Generations have their lives tied together by coincidence or fate. There was no impact. There was nothing memorable about this story other than how much it irritated me having to read the entire thing trying to find out why it was being honored as a science fiction and fantasy story. But I'm sure that if I'd read it in another context without the two tiny fantasy elements I would have thought it was an OK if slow-paced story, certainly not irritating.

  • Ian
    2019-05-12 22:32

    Why is this even nominated for a Hugo? I'm all for stretching the definition of speculative fiction and FSF as far as it can. However, apart from the last couple lines, this could all simply just be historical fiction, with no fantastical elements whatsoever, not even on the verge of fantastical realism.Mind, it's not a bad story, but I certainly would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been expecting for a fantastical element to turn up somehow.

  • Jon
    2019-04-26 00:38

    Wakulla Springs was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella. The publisher made it available for free.First of all, it was a well-written and enjoyable story that spanned several generations and was particularly evocative in its descriptions of the Jim Crow era in Northern Florida and the filming of a couple of different old Hollywood movies on location there.But...why, why, why do people keep nominating works that aren't SF/fantasy for SF/fantasy awards? There are exactly two places in the book where fantastical elements appear in the story -- one near the end, the other literally at the end. While both may be important to the feel of the story, neither is important to the plot of the story. So even though I enjoyed the opportunity to read the story, it's not on my Hugo nomination ballot.

  • Beth Cato
    2019-04-26 02:38

    This novella can be read for free on, and is currently a free download on Amazon as well. I read it because it's on the current Nebula shortlist.This is an exceptionally well-written story that doesn't have an outward conflict. Really, it's about the love of a place and the impact it has on people, racism, and how a family changes with changing culture. It spans four chapters and three generations, and has firm grounding in the real setting of Wakulla Springs, Florida. It begins with the filming of a Tarzan movie starring Johnny Weissmuller; the amount of research and realism here is impressive. From there, it shows the filming of "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" at the same place, and on into the 1960s and then the present day. It evokes the frustration of racism and the progress that comes as the decades pass. I enjoyed it immensely but more as a work of historical fiction. The speculative element here is implied, that's it. I don't feel like I can vote for it as the best science fiction/fantasy novella for 2013 for that reason, but I still heartily recommend it.

  • Alexandra
    2019-05-06 22:36

    ... But is it sf?Not really, no. There are a couple of Maybe Moments, but they are fleeting.However, it is a fabulous novella. Seriously fabulous. The different voices are wonderfully distinct, clearly telling one multi-generational story but clearly individual. Wakulla Springs in particular is so evocative it ached. The incidental details felt right, although I'm sure as heck no expert on the period or place. And I'm not sure how to phrase this without it coming out wrong, so please forgive me: but there's something about dealing with momentous issues - the racism in particular - with such a light touch that really worked here. By no means do I want to suggest that the racism can or should be skimmed over, and by no means do the authors only touch on it lightly. The racism isn't dwelt on in great detail because it is shown to be exactly what it was: inherent in the society of the period (1940s and 50s America, especially), and deeply affecting everything that the main characters do. There's no need for Duncan and Klages to spell it out, because it's right there. In every interaction between black and white, in every thought the black characters have about how to act and how to speak and how to be. If someone can tell me how to phrase this better, please do, because that doesn't seem like a very satisfying explanation! At any rate, did I mention it's awesome?

  • Nancy Meservier
    2019-04-29 04:37

    Wakulla Springs focuses on the lives of multiple generations of one family, and their relationship to Wakulla Springs. The result is a beautifully written novella that covers a wide variety of topics, from race relations in the south, to classic monster movies. The story moves at a sedate pace, but the characters and subject matter as so interesting that you don't really mind. It's true that it can feel a little unfocused, with large sprawling chapters followed by short ones where you don't get to know the characters as well, but I found that I ended up enjoying it quite a lot regardless. One thing that did puzzle me a bit is the fact that I read this for the Hugo Awards, which honors works of science fiction and fantasy, when the speculative elements of this tale are close to non-existent. As a historical fiction fan, I still quite enjoyed the story present here, but I'm unsure if the speculative elements are strong enough for this story to be considered fantasy. (Hugo Reading)

  • Sunil
    2019-04-21 22:10

    Wakulla Springs has much going for it. A multigenerational tale with protagonists of color. A strong sense of place. A nostalgic look at retro filmmaking. Historically accurate portrayals of racism. Clean yet occasionally lush prose. But as much as I could appreciate certain elements of it, I never fully got into it, largely because it's bafflingly light on any sort of SFF element, given its Nebula and Hugo nominations. It's closer to magical realism than sci-fi or fantasy, and so I kept waiting for something fantastical to occur. Yes, the human stories are good, but they also feel incomplete. They don't really have plots and then they end.

  • Ian McKinley
    2019-04-28 00:16

    This novella begins with an interesting character caught in the Jim Crow era of 1941 Florida who lives in an interesting setting. The book puts her into the biggest trouble she would ever have seen in her life, and then largely drops her to pick up the story of a less-interesting character navigating uninteresting problems. It would have been a stronger work had it stuck to the first character it depicts.

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)
    2019-04-29 21:18

    I read this because it's a Hugo-nominated novella. I didn't feel like there was a real story being told. It's just quick sketches about multiple generations of a family with connections to Wakulla Springs in Florida. I was surprised this was nominated for a Hugo because it didn't seem like speculative fiction to me (science fiction or fantasy). I would classify it has historical fiction. Overall, I thought it was good, though not a type of story I'm naturally drawn to.I feel a little guilty giving this only 3 stars instead of 4, but I merely "liked" it despite how well written I thought it was. I can't point to any one thing about it that was bad or flawed; mostly I guess it was boring and not at all SFF like I was led to think it would be.

  • Jon
    2019-05-14 02:08

    3.5 stars. Hugo nominee. Cute, but really more historical fiction.

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-12 02:28

    This was really good, a tale of four generations of family, growing up in the Wakulla Springs area.

  • Halie
    2019-05-13 22:21

    I live in Tallahassee, FL (20-30 minutes away), grew up visiting and swimming there, and actually got married at Wakulla Springs in 2013! So after seeing a popular GR reviewer read this short story (and even included a link to read for free!), I knew I needed to read it! It spanned 4 generations of one family, from approximately 1940-2011-ish (these are my own approximations, as the story doesn't specify), from Wakulla Springs to LA and back to Florida. It was an easy read, but it was written so great. I loved the opening POV of Mayola, and wished that portion would have been longer. I actually wish the whole story would have been longer! I would definitely have enjoyed reading this as a full-length novel, but the short story was also so sweet and lovely. It took me only a few hours to read this, so if you like historical fiction & stories about Florida, read it here:

  • James Adams
    2019-04-21 23:21

    A beautiful story, telling of multiple generations and the Florida waters sacred to them. Beautifully written, but, as many will tell you, not SF/F. What little that is even remotely supernatural is, most likely, metaphor. Still, that shouldn't turn you off of this and, despite no unnatural doings, this is still some kind of fantasy.

  • G.L.
    2019-04-19 03:29

    This book is composed of four chapters, each set in a different period in time, that, together, tell the story of one African-American family in North Florida from the 1930s to the present day.But reading this book isn't so much like reading four different stories as it is like reading two, very different ones.First, I'll adress the first two chapters. They are compelling. They have well-developed, complicated characters that are easy for the reader to identify with. Most importantly, the first two chapters contain a powerful sense of place. Wakulla Springs and Wakulla County surrounding it add a presence to the book as powerful as any of the characters. These chapters are subtle and understated and assume that the reader is intelligent enough to understand what is going on.When the story broke between the first and second chapter, I was a little disoriented at first, because story is so often identified with a character, and here it's identified with a family. Once I got my bearings, though, I appreciated this underused form of storytelling.My impression of the book after chapter two was very positive. I wish I had stopped reading there. The last two chapters are rushed. Nothing happens in them of much significance or interest to the reader, and the characters in them feel flat and lifeless. Most importantly, they've lost the powerful sense of place that made the first two chapters so lifelike. The last chapter is entirely set in Wakulla Springs. Yet, to me (I'm a local who has spent more time at Wakulla Springs than I can reckon), it seemed like it was written by someone who had never set foot near the Springs, only read about it. This is a marked contrast to the first two chapters, which were so immersed in place that I could go down to the Springs right now and point to exactly where each piece of the action happened.I really don't know why the last two chapters were included. They are not only weaker, but they add nothing to the story. I advise you to read the first two chapters, then put the book down. Seriously. The first two chapters make an excellent story in themselves, and need no further embellishment. If my copy had omitted the final two chapters, I'd have given this four stars instead of three.As an aside, this is nominated for an award as a science fiction/fantasy book. This is somewhat mysterious to me. There are subtle allusions in three of the chapters that there may be some strange cryptid or monster in the woods of Wakulla County. But the references are brief, never resolved one way or another, and have minimal impact on the story or the characters. I wouldn't call this a science fiction or fantasy book. It is less of one than, say, The Scarlet Letter. But, as literary or historical fiction, it's excellent. Up to the end of chapter 2.

  • Ben Babcock
    2019-05-09 04:33

    Having not grown up during a time with segregation, it’s difficult for me to understand completely what such a society is like. But stories like Wakulla Springs at least help by highlighting some of the less overt but no less harmful racist and oppressive tactics used in the United States to maintain the social status quo. In this eponymous Florida town, Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages allow their characters to dream—and then sacrifice those dreams on an altar of realism.The first part of the story is like watching a car crash in slow motion. Mayola has so much potential: she has a dream, goals, and is very practical about how she wants to achieve them. But it’s so obvious, from the moment Johnny Weissmuller enters the scene, what will happen. Mayola becomes trapped in a story that is far older than her but no less tragic for this reason. It leaves her bitter, both about the town and about the film industry that is so enchanted with its clear lake. But this bitterness doesn’t stop her son, Levi, from dreaming big himself.Klages and Duncan quite skilfully tie their setting into their characterization. The subtle repetition of this generational cycle, and the way the lots of our protagonists incrementally improves with each generation, mirrors the slow march of progress over the twentieth century. Levi has more opportunities than Mayola, and Anna in turn has more opportunities than him. All are united by their love of the springs where they grew up. Just as it is the springs that draw the Hollywood film company to Wakulla Springs and Johnny in turn to Mayola, the same springs draw Anna back to research and catalogue the life that they harbour. And so the story comes full circle.Wakulla Springs reminds me a lot of a Hugo-nominated novella from a few years ago, Shambling Towards Hiroshima. (I didn’t remember until now that it was written by James Morrow, whose The Philosopher’s Apprentice I recently read and detested. But that is neither here nor there.) Like the other nominee, this book does not seem very fantastical or science-fictional. Indeed, aside from a few small and isolated elements of fantasy, which do not seem all that integral to the plot, I’d question whether this book is speculative fiction at all. In this sense, I’m not sure I can vote for it in the Hugos. It is a gorgeous and well-written story, but I don’t know if it is an exemplar of science fiction and fantasy.

  • Amy
    2019-05-15 22:23

    Wakulla Springs is one of those places I've always dreamed of visiting. It's the largest and deepest freshwater springs (some say in the world). It's been the home of manatees and monsters, and, once upon a time, movie-stars, too. Wakulla Springs is also a 2014 Hugo nominated original fiction (novella) and I was able to read it as a free download, courtesy of the publisher, Tor. I read a huge variety of fiction, so something that carries a bit of speculation, magical realism and history is a treat to read. To me, the best kind of science fiction is that which can actually dip into our daily lives and swirl around in the undercurrents of our world. Sure, big, scary monsters, or sleek metal warriors are science fiction, too, but give me the stuff that lurks in the shadows and I'm happy. This novella took a place that has captured my imaginings since childhood, wrapped them up in a historical context and tied them with a pretty ribbon of surrealism. The story is really a multigenerational one, beginning with Mayola, a young black girl who works at the Lodge at the Springs, when Hollywood came to call. It's a wonderful glimpse into the filming of one of the Tarzan movies, with Johnny Weissmuller. The first part of the novella, Mayola's story, captures not only the days before segregation, but also the last days of Roosevelt's reign. I was not alive then, but the world of my childhood arose from that era, so there were many, many everyday things that caused me to reminisce: buffalo head nickels and mercury dimes, pulling a bottle of RC out of an ice cooler at the store and adding salted peanuts, even the feeling of cotton absorbing perspiration on your back on a sunny summer day. When the author wrote "the air felt thick and close, like it was considering changing it's name to steam.", I knew I'd felt that.The story moves on, often with abrupt endings between sections, which allows the reader to fill in the blanks. I'm sure it bothered some, but I was okay with it. Mayola's son and her granddaughter take the focus of the next three sections, but always Wakulla Springs weaves through the tale. If you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of something strange and sinister lurking in the waters and forest.

  • Amy
    2019-05-01 04:12

    This was another Hugo award nominee made available for free download to e-readers through the publisher, Tor. I enjoy science fiction a great deal, but had a hard time with this one fitting into that classification. If anything, it merely suggested - teased, perhaps - at science fiction and nothing more. The fact that it was nominated for a Hugo award suggests (teases?) that perhaps I've missed something evident to others.Despite finishing the book with a puzzled, "What? That was science fiction?" feeling, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the writing. Andy Duncan captured the humid beauty of Florida and made me ache to visit unspoiled Wakulla Springs of the past. The story manages to span multiple generations despite its being only a novella and manages it with surprising grace. Duncan opens in pre-civil rights era, where Roosevelt is president, Wakulla Springs is host to one of the Tarzan movie shoots, and young, curious, and driven Mayola meets and swims with actor, Johnny Weissmuller. This doesn't sound terribly scandalous until you step back and look at it from a different perspective. It's the 30's, Mayola is black and working as a maid in the hotel where the cast and crew is staying. Black folks aren't allowed to swim in that part of the river. Johnny Weissmuller is a star, he's white, and Mayola is not quite sixteen when she takes this clandestine, late-night swim with the actor.The novella ends focused on descendents of Mayola's who carry her love of swimming into the present day. It also leaves us with the sad reminder that, in less than a century, the once pristine, fresh water springs of Florida have been polluted - oh, and that even a star as big as Cheetah might one day end up reduced to living in a trailer park.Wakulla Springs was a very enjoyable read. The subject matter was informative and interesting, the characters fully realized and nearly breathing, and the writing sublime. I'll look for Andy Duncan's writing again.

  • P. Kirby
    2019-05-16 00:17

    I'm being an asshat with this rating, because as a work of historical fiction, Wakulla Springs is a lovely story and deserving of at least four stars. Also, I got it free, which means I should cut it some slack.And yet...there is something sorely vexing about a Hugo nominated, and therefore, by implication, speculative fiction novella, that contains fuck all for SF/F elements. My guess is some might argue that it's a work of magical realism. But if Wakulla Springs is a measure of what is magical realism, then just about any narrative that features a character imagining/hallucinating monsters under the bed or beneath the waters of a lake would qualify as spec fic.Wakulla Springs, with its pretty prose and storyline that followed several generations of African Americans, was a quick read for me. In part because I kept reading, expecting, at any moment, that something, anything fantasy would arrive in the plot. And being disappointed.*And this...this is why I avoid "award winning" SF/F like the plague. Especially the short forms. Because the auditors of good speculative fiction are clearly as derisive toward genre fiction as so-called literary folk.Anyway, it's a nice story. Recommended to readers of historical fiction.*Edited to note that when I described the plot to my husband, a reader of almost exclusively SF/F, his reaction was, "Sounds boring."

  • Marco
    2019-05-05 20:20

    Despite being a finalist for both the Hugo and the Nebula 2013 awards, I would classify this novella as historical fiction, and not as science fiction or fantasy.The story starts in the 1930s, in the deep South, at a time when segregation was the law of the land. Each chapter focuses on one pivotal moment in the life of a different member of the same family, each one belonging to a different generation. We are told the history of Wakulla Spring, a "white-only" retreat in the more pristine and wild corner of Florida, through their eyes.The first two chapters are remarkable, because of the incredibly successful portrait of the past, as seen by the people living back then, and because of the well rounded character development. I just wish that the rest of the book was as good!The last three chapters are quite short, almost as if they were written in a rush, and they feature characters that feel flat, quite uninteresting. The author introduces a couple of very small supernatural events, that do not fit well with the rest of the story, and that do not really add anything to it.For more information about this and other 2013 nebula finalist, please refer to my blog post here:

  • SciFi Kindle
    2019-04-24 21:15

    This novella, while interesting, disappointed my expectations of something categorically SF. Told as a sequence of childhood 'day-in-the-life' stories from three generations of characters, it seems best described as a tribute to the titular Florida locale where most of the story takes place. There is a very tangible and deeply native familiarity to the setting that puts the reader into the scene quite believably, without lecturing at length about the local biology. While completely terrestrial, it does have an otherworldly feel to those of us not familiar with the area. However, that is as close to 'Science Fiction' as this story gets, unless you count a few brief closing moments in the final 10% of the text that could just as easily be interpreted as the imagination of an unreliable narrator. Throughout the entire story there is the tantalizing hint of something, a lurking creature perhaps, that will more classically justify the Hugo nomination, and while it never materialized in the way this reader expected, I can’t help but admit that the coming-of-age moments were nonetheless, worthwhile of the read.

  • Chantal
    2019-05-03 23:12

    It's really very subtle and light Magical Realism, so subtle I'd hesitate to place it in the Spec. Fic. category. Still, it's a very well written and evocative story that I enjoyed very much. The authors really managed to convey the sense of the place and the continuity in the lives of the different generations of characters. Even though there was no fantastical element or hints of the supernatural until very late in the story, there's a sense of quiet, every day "magic" in the setting and the way the Springs weave themselves into the lives of these people. It's quite slow-paced and has a dreamy quality to it which is why I expect many people disliked it, especially if they read it because it was on an award voter's packet for SFF. I got it because of the Hugo Awards. But just because people were expecting more Magic and less Realism doesn't mean it does not belong in the list although admittedly, it's the kind of story that would comfortably fit in the lists for more mainstream lit awards.

  • Tony
    2019-04-28 22:19

    Each one of the four chapters of this novella take place in a different decade and is told in first person from a different character. The chapters read as individual short stories with related characters. In the first two stories there was a sense of foreboding, as a reader you know something is going to happen, you just don't know how bad its going to be for the character, and you can't wait to find out what it is. I've read books with this format that I felt should have been characterized as a book of short stories rather then a novel but Wakulla Springs holds together. There is a beginning middle and end to this story because theirs more then the individual characters to hold it together.A good read, worth the time I spent reading it when I was supposed to be working.

  • Lorena
    2019-05-10 02:22

    The first half is 5 stars; the second, 2 and a half stars. The story tracks 3 generations of one family (in 4 sections), and the first two sections are masterpieces of lush, evocative, gorgeously immersive writing. The last two are far shorter and far less developed, both the settings and the characters. The Tor website, where I read this, lists two authors - Andy Duncan, and Ellen Klages. I wonder if they each took half of the story - it would seem to fit with the results. If so, I would love to see how the author of the first half would have completed it.

  • Stefanie Kline
    2019-05-05 23:31

    I did not care for this book. I was expecting this to be a bit more magical. This is going to be a short review because there really isn’t much for me to say other than I didn’t like the book. Not my type of book. If was free Friday book offered for Nook and that is why I downloaded it and decided to give it a try. It’s a short book and I am so glad otherwise I probably would not even have finished it. It took me 4 sittings to finish the book simply because it bored me to read it very long.

  • Nadine Jones
    2019-05-06 00:17

    Thank you, Tor, for making this Nebula award nominee available free on-line. keeps crashing and losing my review! So, short version: lovely little gem, four part story about race relations and barriers in small town Florida & Hollywood in 40s, 50s, 60s, and present day, each protagonist the descendent of a previous character. But not sci-fi. At all. This is barely magical realism.

  • Emily
    2019-05-13 01:27

    This novella was nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards, though I'm very puzzled why as it's not SF at all. It's good though; a story spanning 4 (?) generations of a family growing up in Wakulla Springs deep in Florida. From the very segregated 1930s to the current day, the story jumps through multiple generations showing the family encountering racism and other challenges and finding ways to move onwards through the years.