The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere

Reviewed by:
On May 20, 2014
Last modified:May 20, 2014


Illustration by Christopher Silas Neal
Illustration by Christopher Silas Neal

Title: The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere
Author: John Chu
Genre: speculative fiction, romance

This is the part of my 100 Short Stories in 2014 challenge.

I read this story because of it’s Hugo Nomination, so who-ever thinks that the Hugo Nominations don’t matter, please – of course they do – at least to the people voting. Which I am very happy to say I will be this year.

In the near future water falls from the sky whenever someone lies (either a mist or a torrential flood depending on the intensity of the lie). This makes life difficult for Matt as he maneuvers the marriage question with his lover and how best to “come out” to his traditional Chinese parents.

This is the introduction to the story, and it is pretty much the plot. That sounds a bit weird right? Well it is, as a concept, but Chu makes it seems so natural. Of course water drench you when-ever you lie. This of course makes it very hard to keep secrets from your loved ones.

It is a very emotional story and Chu really made me feel with the characters. It is very much a story about love, relationships and being true to yourself.

Chu does a cool little thing, every time a chinese work shows up in the story, it is written in chinese characters – which I think is a nice touch – because it don’t make any more sense to the non-chinese speaker if it was written out and it is more true to the real sense of what is said. To me it never got in the way of understanding what was going on in the story and in many cases you get what is said from the contest.

I really like that Matt and his mother is cooking together, which should probably tell him something about his mother’s mind-set…

Spoiler - the ending
I have to say that I loved that Matt’s mother has guessed just who Gus is right away and has accepted that they are a couple. Telling him to call her Mother-in-law.

So all in all I liked the story. It dragged me in and had me captivated and emotionally invested in the story. The water falling was such a natural part of the world that it just added to the emotional notes in the story. It was lovely.


Published: Feburary 20, 2014,
Read: May 20 2014
Length: 6573 words, short story
Format: Free online fiction

The author: Male, poc, USA
The protagonist: Matt, male, adult, gay, bioengineer, able bodied, poc (chinese-american)

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