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Aqueduct Press
PO Box 95787
Seattle, WA 98145-2787

Love's Body, Dancing in Time

by L. Timmel Duchamp

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Honor List for 2004 James Tiptree, Jr. Award
a Locus-recommended book

Love’s Body, Dancing in Time offers five love stories by critically acclaimed author L. Timmel Duchamp. Carnal and queer, intricate and involved, they range from the heart-breaking Sturgeon Award finalist “Dance at the Edge,” to the historically authentic, Tiptree short-listed “The Apprenticeship of Isabetta di Pietro Cavazzi,” to the subtle, original “The Heloise Archive,” in which the rewriting of the eleventh-century abbess’s life story dramatically alters the course of European history. Like all of Duchamp’s work, this fiction is passionate, feminist, and intelligent.

Advance Praise

"This handful of SF tales demonstrates superbly what the genre can really do. Rich with social resonance, these stories elicit the thrill of ideas struggling to manifest as pure drama. Duchamp writes some of the most rewarding science fiction stories you can read today; she is simply and unarguably among the best."
   — Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren and Nova

"These stories create a delicate choreography of longing, love and loss. They continue to perform in the mind long after you’ve turned the last page."
    — Nalo Hopkinson, author of The Salt Roads and Brown Girl in the Ring

Reviews

Duchamp's five unusual, provocative love stories featuring strong, memorable heroines can haunt a reader long after the last page is turned. In "Dance at the Edge," Emma Persimmon doggedly pursues the woman of her dreams, a dedicated physicist with the uncanny ability to see other realities. "The Gift" explores gender and human existence beyond the strictures of the male-female model. "The Apprenticeship of Isabetta di Pietro Cavazzi" acquaints us with an unusually talented servant girl who discovers her strength and power in woman-magic. Dark and compelling, "Lord Enoch's Revels" fairly bleeds upon the page, mirroring the anguish of its protagonist, Sybil. "The Heloise Archive" retells the tragic story of Heloise and Abelard but includes Heloise's regular visitation by the angel Nuntia, come to purge Christ's message of the church's drastic alterations of it over the centuries, in the end—a real corker—the history of Europe is radically changed. Each tale is a polished gem, reflecting human nature in all its goodness and ugliness, and inviting deeper inspection of cherished belief systems and re-exploration of the big questions of relationships with ourselves, others, and God. Supremely intelligent and confident, Duchamp infuses her consistently sensual prose with mystery and beauty. Moreover, it is unpredictable—so emotionally and conceptually multifaceted that there is no fast track through one of her stories.
    — Paula Luedtke, The Booklist, March 1, 2004

Putting together a top 10 list isn’t always a cakewalk. The last 12 months yielded a bumper crop of outstanding sf and fantasy, and it took a lot of boiling down and a little arbitrariness to select just 10 instead of a dozen, or 15, or even 20. ...Duchamp’s five unpredictable, haunting love stories, which feature strong, memorable heroines, provoke deeper inspection of cherished belief systems and re-exploration of the big questions of relationships with ourselves, others, and God.
    — Ray Olson, "Spotlight on SF/Fantasy," The Booklist, April 15, 2004

Love's Body, Dancing In Time is a collection of five love stories showcasing the talent and imagination of L. Timmel Duchamp. Sensually charged, sometimes heart-breaking, this mind and imagination engaging anthology includes the Sturgeon Award finalist tale "Dance at the Edge", and the Tiptree short-listed "The Apprenticeship of Isabetta di Pietro Cavazzi". Very highly recommended reading, Love's Body, Dancing In Time is an enthralling selection offering a unique perspective on the power of timeless beauty of human bonds.
    — Midwest Book Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, April 2004

Love's Body, Dancing in Time is a first-rate collection from the provocative L. Timmel Duchamp. There are two fine reprints and three new stories. "Lord Enoch's Revels" is a brief evocation of a mysterious and erotically charged party. "The Heloise Archive" is a collection of letters from Heloise to Abelard, with "contemporary" commentary: slowly we learn that in this alternate history Heloise has, with the help of a strange visitor, changed the place of women much for the better. The best new story is "The Gift", in which a maker of travel documentaries in a future Galactic society falls in love with a young singer on a world she is visiting, only to fall afoul of this world's different mores about art, identity, choice, and discipline.
    — Rich Horton, Locus, Issue 519, Vol. 52, No. 4, April 2004

...But what of the heroine's quest? Local author L. Timmel Duchamp provides a few models in her luminous new story collection, Love's Body, Dancing in Time.

In "Dance at the Edge," Emma Persimmon seeks knowledge and sexual fulfillment from the same person: Viola Knight, student of Optics. Emma's curiosity about the interdimensional portals no one else around her will acknowledge and her desire for Viola's touch drive her first to distraction, then to physical pursuit.

"The Apprenticeship of Isabetta di Pietro Cavazzi" recounts a more internal journey. A young servant in 17th-century Bologna uses sorcery to force the nobleman who impregnated her to honor his promise that they would marry. Duchamp details Isabetta's careful gathering of arcane materials — a hangman's rope, the dried blood of a thief — convincingly; if witches had lived in Renaissance Italy, this is surely what they would've gone through. Gradually, Isabetta realizes what her spell's true cost will be. "The Gift" and "The Heloise Archives" also deal unconventionally with the romantic adventure. These heroine's quests lead in one case to bitter regrets, in the other to the founding of a new religious order and an alternate course of history.

Writer and critic Samuel R. Delany calls Duchamp "simply and unarguably among the best." As she explores the literary roles that women adopt, she's among the most daring and the most delightfully rewarding as well.
    — Nisi Shawl, Seattle Times, Sunday, May 23, 2004

Duchamp's stories are ambitious, deeply felt, and carefully and often beautifully written, and her thematic emphasis on love makes this a more unified book than can usually be expected of a collection.
    — Mark Rich, NYRSF,  January 2005

This handful of SF tales demonstrates superbly what the genre can really do. Rich with social resonance, these stories elicit the thrill of ideas struggling to manifest as pure drama. Duchamp writes some of the most rewarding science fiction stories you can read today; she is simply and unarguably among the best.
    — Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren and Nova

These stories create a delicate choreography of longing, love and loss. They continue to perform in the mind long after you’ve turned the last page.
    — Nalo Hopkinson, author of The Salt Roads and Brown Girl in the Ring

...It’s a remarkable achievement to turn edges into seams at the turn of a few words, and Duchamp does this throughout the collection. Love’s Body, Dancing in Time creates curious little ornithopters of story and sets them free, allowing feminism’s speculations to come into play. (read the whole review)
    — Alan DeNiro, The Sideshow, August 10, 2004

ISBN: 978-0-9746559-1-8 (13 digit)
Publication Date: 2004
paperback 200 pages