Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Molenstraat Music Festival, by Sean Monaghan

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On an arid planet, an former musician--now a painter in his old age--attempts to help a damaged but extremely talented young musician find the strength to heal herself. (14,596 words; Time: 48m)

Rating: ★★★★★ Award-Worthy
Recommended By: SFRevu:5

"," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 09|15, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Deeply touching, suspenseful, with excellent dialogue, memorable characters, and a satisfying outcome.

Beyond the workmanship, the idea that implants have a cost is what makes this story sing. A cost that ends up being worth paying. Clancy and Eleanor are both changed, and rather than brooding over what they lost, they both take advantage of what they gained. Clancy's paintings are different, but they still sell. Eleanor has lost the spark that made her performances unique, but she's gained the ability to compose new music.

There are no huge action sequences, of course, but when Eleanor went on stage at the festival, I certainly sat on the edge of my seat. And when Clancy found she'd dedicated her first original work to him, it brought tears to my eyes.

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5 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. It was a very good read.

    I suspect a reader needed to have a better understanding and knowledge of music than what I have to love it.

    1. I've worried about that for a few stories. That the core story depended on some appreciation of an art, a sport, or a technology and that readers without that just wouldn't get it. However, in some cases (e.g. the basketball story you pointed out), I loved the story despite not being into the sport, so I'm hopeful that it's not an absolute requirement.

  2. This is a novelette. It is showing up under the Novella listing when you list the fiction by its length category.

    You might have a small bug in your query. Its word count is novelette length.

    1. Thanks for the correction. I've updated my spreadsheet and it'll show up in the lists later today. I got the magazine issues and TOCs from, which had it wrong, while Greg gets the word count for each story from the Kindle, which had it right (and is reflected in the label). We'll add more automation to eliminate any discrepancies between his review data and my lists.

  3. *sniff* *sniff*

    That's funny, I seem to have something in my eyes after reading that. I'm sure it's nothing...