Fantasy Reviews Fantasy Short Stories Reviews: Clarkesworld Magazine Short Fiction Reviews

Sparrow (Short Review)

Sparrow tells the tale of a woman made redundant by a drone, recounting her final day washing the windows of a skyscraper. We see a character lost amidst the world, trying to find her place in it. The conversation on human labor being replaced by machines takes a backseat to the power of literature to inspire and provide an escape from the world. By the end, the writing is hopeful as the protagonist connects with the heroine she identifies with.


Yilin Wang
Clarkesworld Magazine, October 2018 Issue


The highlight of this story is the parallel between the protagonist’s real life and the legendary Sparrow. Both come from nothing, both struggle to make ends meet. Sparrow is fearless and powerful, a mercenary who fights her way through danger. Our protagonist looks to her for inspiration when she finds herself without a job in a city she doesn’t know. There isn’t much ahead for her after dropping out of school, but she finds solace in the pages of her favorite fantasy series. On her final day of work, she isn’t afraid or panicking. Instead, she remembers Sparrow’s power and moves on with her life. 

This narrative shows the power a strong character can have on a reader. When we find someone we can identify with, even if they’re fictional, we feel empowered to take on their strength to help us live our lives. Wang has embodied that feeling masterfully.


Fantasy, Literature, Drones

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