Friday, December 11, 2015

The Heat of Passion, by Grey Rollins

(SF) Ian witnesses a murder, thanks to his unnaturally good night vision, but dares not go to the police because in the late 21st Century, people like him are hunted. (8,417 words; Time: 28m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆, Not Recommended

"The Heat of Passion," by , appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact issue 01-02|16, published on by

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

Pro: There is the essence of a story about the pain of being different here. The last dozen paragraphs are particularly strong.

Con: The whole story revolves around Ian's fear that if he tells the police what he saw, then his ability will be revealed. But in that case, why not tell them he saw the murder, but couldn't see the murderer in the light? Then the cop stakes out Ian's apartment, but doesn't bring backup, which lets the killer get the drop on him.

At a higher level, the story depicts an America that has really gone to hell, but it offers no explanation how this might have happened. A minor annoyance is the comment about Social Security. The story cannot take place any sooner than 2085, by which point the crisis will have been long in the past.

Finally, the writing itself has a bad tendency towards tell over show. Not all the time, but often enough to make it a rough read.

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