Saturday, March 19, 2016

Patchwerk, by David Tallerman

Find this story
(SF/Fantasy) Florrian plans to change the world with his "Palimpsest" invention--provided no one steals it first. And it's the kind of thing that's dangerous to steal. (23,500 words; Time: 1h:18m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

See related articles on

"," by (edited by Lee Harris), published on by .

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

Pro: Once the story gets going, it's non-stop excitement. It fairly quickly becomes clear that every time Florrian dies, he comes back in a different universe, but it's fun watching him unravel the secret. The ending is decently satisfying and avoids the clichΓ© of him getting his ex-wife back.

Con: The story takes a long time to get going. Anyone reading just the excerpt is likely to skip it. It's not that there's no action in the first part--it's that the cardboard villain is hard to stomach.

Other Reviews: Search Web,
David Tallerman Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Yup, I was considering throwing it into the meh pile just before the first transition, which then kept me reading. It's notable for the fun pulp tone and the clever twist, but the story is bland.

  2. In some ways, this is another case of the story not taking itself too seriously and getting a lower rating as a result. In this case, I still think that's the right call, but it doesn't always feel that way.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on "Lotto," by Rich Larson, from this month's Interzone. (I just posted my review of it.)

  3. Yeah, I didn't get the feeling that this story was interested in exceeding the sum of its parts.

    I'm slightly behind on magazines, but I'll certainly swing back when I've done the latest Interzone.

  4. It was fun to get a glimpse of several different world-building scenarios in one story. I thought it was good to signal the first change with apostrophes in the names -- that definitely caught my attention. In the universe where they changed gender, I really had to slow down and read carefully. I liked it, but I'm glad it only happened once.