Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Savannah Liars Tour, by Will McIntosh

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(Urban Fantasy) In the near future, Ben uses cryosleep for a side-effect: while he's under, he can meet his dead wife. Trouble is, he has a new wife. (4,122 words; Time: 13m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Recommended
Recommended By: SFRevu:4 GDozois:4 RHorton:4

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 68, published on .

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

Pro: Story does a nice job of making us feel sorry for all parties concerned. It's a nice touch that Ben's "afterlife Savannah" represents the city and he and Delilah knew it--not as it actually was.

Con: We don't get a strong feeling that Ben or Jillian are all that into each other. Ben's dying at the end seemed to be telegraphed by all the warning of the risks, so not much of a surprise. Worse, it feels like that was what he really wanted all along.

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5 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I think the ending is the most interesting part of this one. There was a real sense of his self-destructive obsession being built up, so while there was that sense of inevitability I think that was quite deliberate. You're right that his relationship with his current wife wasn't as well drawn as it needed to be.

    1. I sometimes think I need a better way to signal that a story is fun even though it's not something you'd consider for an award. About half to a a third of the three-star stories are great reads, but they don't have the plot complexity I look for in a 4-star story.

      Sometimes I add the word "fun" or "entertaining" but neither of those sounded right, given the way this story ends. I think I'll try adding "A good read" and see how that works.

    2. We're changing our rating scheme slightly for 2016, so this one is a 4 now after all.

  2. I really loved this one. While I figured there'd be a problem with the "last" trip, it didn't click into place for me until Jillian appeared. Even then, for a moment, I thought he might come back from a near-death experience.

  3. I rate it ★★★★★, one more than RSR. I'm not a big fan of relationship-driven stories when reading SF, but this was sweet and sad and memorable.