Read Variations on an Apple by Yoon Ha Lee Online


For the fairest. Past, present, and future. Again....

Title : Variations on an Apple
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765384874
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 32 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Variations on an Apple Reviews

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-05-12 01:15

    This short story is little short on plot and long on ornate language and imagery, but I liked the crazy, unpredictable mix of Greek mythology and science fiction. The prince of Troy (or Ilion/Ilium), Paris, is asked by three goddesses, Hera, Aphrodite and Athena, to give an apple to the fairest. In the original myth he gives it to Aphrodite, who promises him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, and his affair with Helen and the Trojan war are the result. In this short story, he gives it to someone else, or maybe to several different people in alternate realities. It's a bit chaotic and hard to follow. Ilion is the city of Troy, but is also a person -- sometimes female, sometimes male -- who is Paris' lover. The apple ... well:The apple was not precisely the color of gold. Rather, it looked like bottle glass worn smoothly clouded, and if you examined it closely you could see the honey-haze of insincere endearments inside-out and upside-down and anamorphically distorted shining on the wrong side of the skin, waiting for you to bite in and drink them in, juice of disasters dribbling down your chin. Paris didn’t have to take the bite to know how the apple tasted.At times the narrative seems firmly rooted in ancient Greece, but then sharp, futuristic images ― metal passages through the city with "pattern-mazes of snaking circuitry" and other "particle clouds of impossibilities" ― intercede and disorient the reader. This story probably isn't to everyone's taste, but if you enjoy fantastical and elaborate imagery and don't mind some ambiguity, I highly recommend it.Free online at

  • karen
    2019-05-17 19:20

    It was then that Hera produced the apple. Its brightness was such that everything around it looked dimmer, duller, drained of succulence. “What a prize,” she said softly, bitterly. “No one wants the damn thing, except being uncrowned by its light is even worse. Someone has to claim it.”review to it for yourself here:

  • Miriam
    2019-05-26 23:14

    A mythopoetic sciencefictional take on the story of Discord's Apple. The emphasis here is on language, idea and imagery, not plot.

  • Jokoloyo
    2019-04-30 20:12

    One of my wishes for speculative fiction is an alternate (hi)story of Troy from the beginning, when Paris had to choose which goddess was the fairest. At last there is Yoon Ha Lee's short story.This story is too short for my taste, not much plot. Although it is far from bad: the idea of mixing ancient myth with science fiction is excellent. The execution of the idea is good too.

  • Amy (Other Amy)
    2019-05-20 02:33

    It was then that Hera produced the apple. Its brightness was such that everything around it looked dimmer, duller, drained of succulence. “What a prize,” she said softly, bitterly. “No one wants the damn thing, except being uncrowned by its light is even worse. Someone has to claim it.”“Choose by random number generator?” Paris said, because someone had to.“As if anything is truly random in the stories we write for ourselves,” Athena said.What if Paris was a different kind of fool? This author has set him down here in a high tech troy shimmering in alternate story lines and new paths. Some things never change though: Even the gods cannot escape Fate. I totally, completely loved this. It reminded me a lot of The Museum and the Music Box in that it is, once again, more the brush strokes around the story than the story itself. As you can see from other reviews, your mileage may vary. I myself will be bumping Conservation of Shadows up a bit on my TBR list.Free online from Tor:

  • PaigeBookdragon
    2019-04-27 18:22

    Okay that was boring as hell.I like the story of the Apple of Discord because it was so Greeky that's why when I saw this retelling in Tor, I immediately read it.Let me just say that although I commend the author for doing something different with the story, I find the Variations on an Apple very boring. It wasn't able to capture me either because it was too wordy or the way of the author's writing doesn't suit me. Take your pick.

  • charlotte
    2019-05-24 00:21

    oh my god this is amazing

  • Erik
    2019-05-23 18:38

    An absolutely wonderful "variation" on a Greek myth, that was tremendously entertaining and thoughtful. This quick read is well worth the short time it takes to complete. And its free!!

  • Tamara✨
    2019-05-12 00:32

    I've never read anything by Yoon Ha Lee, but I think I might have to fix that soon. I love their writing style!! Similar to Valentine (above) in that it's super poetic and descriptive, it also is a bit confusing. Although I think that is in part due to the fact that it is super descriptive in such a short space. This short is based on the Ancient Greek myth that Paris the prince of Troy, is asked by 3 goddesses, Hera, Aphrodite and Athena, to give an apple to the fairest. In the original he gives it to Aphrodite who promises him the most beautiful woman in the world, which happens to be Helen and the cause of the Trojan war. But in this one he ends up giving it to someone else, or several someones through out time and space. It's a bit confusing but really lovely to read. https://hercommonplaceblog.wordpress....

  • karenbee
    2019-05-07 23:31

    For a moment, nothing. Then the city was lit by the apple’s light, as though it was a lantern of condensed evenings. Everything was painted over with the jitter-tint of unease, from the factories where cyborgs labored with their insect arms to the academies with their contests of wit and strength, from the flower-engraved gun mounts to the gardens where fruits breathed of kindly intoxications.Wow. I wish I'd read some reviews/explanations before diving into Variations on an Apple; I only had the vaguest handle on the story for the majority of the reading experience. Most of the time it felt like I was reciting dialogue I'd memorized phonetically. I just wasn't smart enough for this one. Some pretty word combinations, though. (Fire bad. Tree pretty.)

  • Alex Sarll
    2019-05-13 02:33

    A gorgeous, crystalline, gender-fluid refraction of the Matter of Troy, set in what seems to be a future where the distinction between human and artificial, real and virtual, has been replaced by far more interesting categories. But there's still a beautiful, terrible apple, and even when Paris thinks he's found a way out of the trap, there's still no good way to dispose of it. Reads like it could have been written by Hannu Rajaniemi in a state of languid bliss, which is very much a compliment.

  • Daphne
    2019-05-20 20:19

    This is one of the most beautiful short stories I've ever read. I could absolutely taste the prose and the world.

  • The Idle Woman
    2019-05-03 02:30

    Now this... is a strange one. A bizarre remix of the Iliad set in a futuristic, crumbling city; a vision of the world in which the apple never made it to Helen; a story that is both incredibly ancient and fiercely original. Paris is, indeed, entranced by the fairest of the fair - but here he's in love with the personification of Ilion (Troy) itself. He is not a shepherd but a philosopher of numbers, dreaming of equations and calculus which will better allow him to understand the city he adores. Here nothing - not even the apple - is beautiful; the story unfolds in a great bleak vacuum. Perhaps Ilion is on another planet, or a space-station. This dizzying combination of sci-fi and myth is definitely clever, revelling in ideas as if written on a high, but sometimes it's just that little bit too clever to be entirely comprehensible.

  • Natalie
    2019-05-06 20:22

    This was gorgeous and strange, and I definitely don't understand it, but not in a bad way. More like in a "Yoon Ha Lee is brilliant and writes on 8 levels at once, and I can only grasp 3 of them." Mostly, I wish it had been longer--I wanted more of all the characters, but especially Cassandra and Helen. And Ilion.

  • Ines
    2019-05-04 18:14

    This is a retelling of Illiad (or Troy, if you want) ... with a twist. A twist of mathematical permutations, unchosen variables, perhaps even unhandled exceptions in the code. And yet, the outcome is the same. It will always be the same.It's tragic and so very beautiful, even in this alien variation.

  • ladymurmur
    2019-05-05 18:30

    Engaging retelling of the Trojan War. Beautiful wordplay.

  • Ann-Lee
    2019-05-23 01:33

    Trooja sõda ja värki...

  • Aleksandra
    2019-05-04 22:10

    A brilliant, original retelling of the judgement of Paris and golden apple myth.

  • Silvana
    2019-05-04 02:12

    Interesting take on the Troy siege and Paris.

  • Nadine Jones
    2019-05-18 23:17

    He didn’t see them at first, lost in sandglass musings, and polygons begetting polygons, and infinite sums. In one-to-one correspondences and sheep counted by knots upon cords. An abacus, resting on his knee, dreamed of binary numbers and quantum superpositions; harmless enough, in this slant of time. It wasn’t so much that Paris was a mathematician. Rather, it was that Ilion was a creation of curvatures and angles and differential seductions, and he was the city’s lover.There are many choices, and many possibilities, but the end result is always fated to be the same. At least when it comes to the Apple of Discord. So what if Paris had made a different choice? What if he was a different kind of fool? What if he wasn't a fool at all? Troy would still be sacked.I didn't always understand what was meant here, but I think it didn't matter. This is one of those stories that you just dive into, and let the waves wash over you and the current carry you, and you experience something, and the experience might not be the same for everybody.

  • Laura
    2019-04-30 18:39

    A variation of the story in which the Apple of Discord is offered to Paris to make him choose the fairest of the fairest goddesses. This story seems to be the result of a literary game, rather than conceived as a traditional story. It's full of exaggerated premises and the vocabulary is excessively ornate. I believe the story is intended to transmit beauty through strangeness. This story possesses the magic of the classical Greek mythology, where everything is possible, but it's unnaturally combined with modern terms and a poor dialogue in some moments. Although I found the overall story rather dull, I did find the part in which the apple itself is depicted very well performed. Ha Lee achieved a wonderful effect of enchantment using synesthesia and antithesis.

  • Marco
    2019-04-27 18:18

    A strange re-interpretation of the ancient Greek myth of the Discord's Apple. The prince of Troy is is asked by three goddesses, Hera, Aphrodite and Athena, to give an apple to the fairest. Instead of giving it to Aphrodite, like in the original story, it gives it to its city, often personified in a gender fluid avatar.I read some of this author work in the past, and I always found it very original and interesting. Variations of an Apple is undoubtedly interesting, but while I did like some of its concepts and ideas, it is a little too short on plot, and it is too often hard to follow because of its ornate language and imagery.

  • WriterLana
    2019-05-25 00:23

    2.5I was so excited that this was about Troy and the apple and the gods and I think that was this stories undoing. It's very, very different and instead of trying to pull me in, the story is too caught up in language. The imagery is overdone, alienating me along with the huge difference between its inspiration and what it is.

  • J. Boo
    2019-05-12 19:34

    Well.. it's short. That was nice of it. And to the extent that it is a take on the Trojan War, it's distinctive. Rather too designedly distinctive. The story, save a tiny core of a single good idea at its heart, was nonsense, disguised with rather silly "I'm an author trying too hard" science fantasy descriptive twaddle. 1.5/5, rounded down because I'm bitter that one good idea was ruined.

  • Matthew
    2019-05-12 23:28

    Overly wordy, confusing, and almost completely devoid of a coherent plot. There are some good bits of imagery interspersed throughout, and it gets points for both its creativity and its unique spin on mythology, but I wasn't a huge fan of it.

  • Oliver
    2019-05-17 19:24

    Langatmigkeit in schönem sprachlichen Gewand.

  • mara
    2019-05-14 02:37

    this was so good oh my god i loved everything about it

  • Shona
    2019-04-29 23:24

    You think you know how this story ends.You don't. But it will still hurt.

  • Sharon
    2019-05-10 00:19

    I think I read this too fast and lost the point/plot of the story. I'll get back to this when my head isn't so tired.

  • Amy
    2019-04-30 21:12

    Kind of a space opera-ish version of the Judgement of Paris/Trojan War story? A bit too abstract/obscure for me. But Lee's prose is beautiful as always.