Saturday, January 2, 2016

Squidtown, by Leo Vladimirsky

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(SF) In the late 21st Century, Johnny returns to Squidtown after years of captivity in Texas, and he finds it's all different. (4,380 words; Time: 14m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

This story is a sequel to "Collar" (F&SF March/April 2014) and appears to suffer a lot if read by itself.
"Squidtown," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 01-02|16, published on by .

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

Pro: This story is really about Johnny coming to peace with his past and accepting that you can't really go home again.

Con: It's impossible to believe in an Islamic State of Texas except as a joke, and a story where 17-year-old boys have their tongues cut out isn't a joke. Most of the other changes described in the story are similarly implausible, and this makes the story a difficult read. The amputated tongue is a powerful symbol, but the info that he could have it regrown whenever he wanted dilutes it down to nothing.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Felt too much like the middle of a longer story. As such, I couldn't really grasp or care about the situation with Johnny and Ana.

    1. Agreed. I didn't read the previous story ("Collar" March/April 2014) so I felt like I was missing out.