Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Myth of Rain, by Seanan McGuire

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(Climate SF) In the near-future Pacific Northwest, environmentalists race to save key species from a forest that's slated to be destroyed. (5,083 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended
Recommended By: SFEP

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 60, published on .

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

There's no story here. Nothing but 5,000 words of preaching against global warming, land development, and capitalism. For global warming, it takes the worst-case scenarios and collapses 100 years of change into fifteen. On the political side, it imagines an amazing shift in opinion against protecting the environment, explaining it with nothing better than "rich people wanted it." But the biggest problem is that nothing else happens.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 60)
Seanan McGuire Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I read this out of curiosity to see how a story got a Recommended and a 1-rating at the same time.

    This story was published in a climate change anthology as well as Lightspeed. The story is a very good choice for this topic, and it was worth reading regardless. It was well-written and it read well.

    It also reads like a "a day in the life of a future environmentalist" with some background as to how and why she got there.

    So good and not so good at the same time.

    1. I've been giving 2s, not 1s, to plotless stories provided the writing is smooth, so I raised the rating on this from 1 to 2. I'm trying to reserve 1-star for things that are badly written at the paragraph level, but I hadn't reached that conclusion yet when I did this one. It's the sort of thing that makes me wish for a 1.5 score.

      Thanks for pointing it out.

      For a climate change anthology, I'd have hoped they'd pick more realistic stories. Not only does this one collapse a century of change into a couple of decades, it has a cardboard villain: corporations more powerful than the government who are so evil they're chopping down all the trees out of pure meanness. It depicts a bleak future, utterly devoid of hope. If it actually had a worthwhile story, I could see arguing for suspending disbelief. Paolo Bachigalupi's futures are almost as bad, but he sets great stories in them. In this case, though, there's nothing here but the gloom and doom.