Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Clones, by Alex Smith

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While Zyrn looks for habitable worlds in a distant future, Martin looks for love in the gay bars of 1980s Philadelphia. But what's the connection between them? (6,400 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆, Not Recommended

"Clones," by (edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell), appeared in Stories for Chip (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: Zyrn is looking for life, while Martin is looking for love. Both have insecurities. Zyrn has the manager from Hell, while Martin is his own worst critic. Zyrn is ejected into space. Martin dies from AIDS.

I try to rate stories in isolation, but it's hard not to give this one points for having more the "feel" of a real Delany story than most others in the volume.

Con: The SF part is just painfully ignorant. It has a black hole sucking the air from hundreds of planets. It has computers that act against their programming. The author seems to think that nebulae and Jupiter are at about the same distance from Earth. Zyrn's lines of dialogue are unnatural, and his behavior is incomprehensible.

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