I’ve always enjoyed reading Elizabeth Bear, and recently, I’ve been slowly reading through her short fiction, compiled in The Best of Elizabeth Bear. Tideline, specifically, won the Hugo and the Theodore Sturgeon Award in 2008.
I don’t want to give too much away about the story of Tideline, I think it is best experienced without much information. But I will quote the introduction by C. L. Polk in The Best of Elizabeth Bear:
“Tideline” is a heartbreaking, beautiful story about family and remembrance that pairs up a warmachine and the boy who found her…C. L. Polk, The Best of elizabeth bear
When reading short fiction, I always check LeVar Burtons Podcast for the story. And there it was, read in 2020. Hearing this story was one of the most intense audiobook experiences in my life. The story is not only read, through subtle sound effects and the different voices LeVar Burton gives the characters and the narration, it feels like so much more. And all that in 45 minutes. I cried at the end. And after that, a little bit more.
If you have some time, or want to give short fiction a try, I cannot recommend this enough.