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Hearts of Stone

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For over 35 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history. In Emma Newman’s “Hearts of Stone”, a young woman learns how to control her deadly powers from an unlikely ally. Kerry —a.k.a Stonemaiden— is a monster. Or at least… she thinks she is. Ever since she turned her parents into granite statues, s For over 35 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history. In Emma Newman’s “Hearts of Stone”, a young woman learns how to control her deadly powers from an unlikely ally. Kerry —a.k.a Stonemaiden— is a monster. Or at least… she thinks she is. Ever since she turned her parents into granite statues, she lives in constant fear of hurting other people. To prove herself a hero–someone worthy of joining the Silver Helix–she embarks on her first field mission to Central London where she’s tasked with surveying a Russian diplomat named Kazimir Nazarenko. When she finally comes into contact with Kazimir, it becomes evident everything is not what it appears, leading her to question everything she’s been led to believe. Note from the author: This story contains references to, and characters from, Russia and Ukraine. It was written in 2020, and was inspired by my fear of what was then a potential war, rather than any of the devastating events unfolding in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion in 2022.


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For over 35 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history. In Emma Newman’s “Hearts of Stone”, a young woman learns how to control her deadly powers from an unlikely ally. Kerry —a.k.a Stonemaiden— is a monster. Or at least… she thinks she is. Ever since she turned her parents into granite statues, s For over 35 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history. In Emma Newman’s “Hearts of Stone”, a young woman learns how to control her deadly powers from an unlikely ally. Kerry —a.k.a Stonemaiden— is a monster. Or at least… she thinks she is. Ever since she turned her parents into granite statues, she lives in constant fear of hurting other people. To prove herself a hero–someone worthy of joining the Silver Helix–she embarks on her first field mission to Central London where she’s tasked with surveying a Russian diplomat named Kazimir Nazarenko. When she finally comes into contact with Kazimir, it becomes evident everything is not what it appears, leading her to question everything she’s been led to believe. Note from the author: This story contains references to, and characters from, Russia and Ukraine. It was written in 2020, and was inspired by my fear of what was then a potential war, rather than any of the devastating events unfolding in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion in 2022.

39 review for Hearts of Stone

  1. 4 out of 5

    Prabhjot Kaur

    Kerry's touch is lethal. She can turn living things into granite and when accidentally she turns her parents into granite, Flint from the Silver Helix, an organization that helps people with special powers and abilities takes Kerry under his wing. After living solitary for some time, Kerry embarks on her first mission but that mission turns out to be something that she was not ready for in any way. I have been enjoying all these short stories written in this Wild Cards universe and this was no ex Kerry's touch is lethal. She can turn living things into granite and when accidentally she turns her parents into granite, Flint from the Silver Helix, an organization that helps people with special powers and abilities takes Kerry under his wing. After living solitary for some time, Kerry embarks on her first mission but that mission turns out to be something that she was not ready for in any way. I have been enjoying all these short stories written in this Wild Cards universe and this was no exception. It started out great and there was a lot of tension but the ending dragged a little and that's what has affected my rating. An excellent addition nonetheless. 3.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

    I've had the Wild Cards series on my TBR forever-and-a-day now, so it was nice to run into this short story set in the Wild Cards universe. No intro or elaborate introduction needed. The correlations between the story and current events for Ukraine and Russia are scary. I've had the Wild Cards series on my TBR forever-and-a-day now, so it was nice to run into this short story set in the Wild Cards universe. No intro or elaborate introduction needed. The correlations between the story and current events for Ukraine and Russia are scary.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    A Wild Cards story written a couple of years ago, so it may have been the times that inspired the focus on the lead who needs to keep her distance lest her biology kills people. But the author note assures us that the Russia/Ukraine background was not drawn from current events, except obviously in so far as those events had been quietly rumbling on for the best part of a decade before the world deigned to do much beyond wag fingers. The odd Americanism ("it wasn’t actually that big of a deal"), A Wild Cards story written a couple of years ago, so it may have been the times that inspired the focus on the lead who needs to keep her distance lest her biology kills people. But the author note assures us that the Russia/Ukraine background was not drawn from current events, except obviously in so far as those events had been quietly rumbling on for the best part of a decade before the world deigned to do much beyond wag fingers. The odd Americanism ("it wasn’t actually that big of a deal"), despite the author as far as I know being British, comes as more surprise than any of the twists in the tale, but the lonely and scared mood is caught all too well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    This was pretty good, a spy story set in the Wild Cards Universe. I feel like I should have read the previous short work with Stonemaiden before reading this, though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    April Thompson Freeman

    Read it here: https://www.tor.com/2022/05/18/hearts... Read it here: https://www.tor.com/2022/05/18/hearts...

  6. 4 out of 5

    M.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nick Miller

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shadowjack

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marzena

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Ross

  11. 4 out of 5

    Toni

  12. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Pitetti

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Harvey

  14. 5 out of 5

    Guillem de Valles Ibáñez

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hughes

  16. 4 out of 5

    Esti

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  19. 5 out of 5

    karen

  20. 5 out of 5

    chelsea

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annie’s Mom

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becks

  23. 5 out of 5

    Scott Laight

  24. 5 out of 5

    Camille

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ms

  26. 4 out of 5

    York

  27. 4 out of 5

    Clémentine

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Renee

  30. 5 out of 5

    PeggyFliss

  31. 5 out of 5

    Nuno Pereira

  32. 4 out of 5

    Tsipi Erann

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ricky Taulker

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ilia

  35. 5 out of 5

    Darren Murr

  36. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

  37. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jess Smith

  39. 4 out of 5

    Cláudia Cunha

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