Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dune Time, by Jack Nicholls

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(Modern Fantasy) Tariq, a young Arab revolutionary, joins his brother Hasan in the desert to hide from the police. They're taking time-lapse photos of the dunes for a documentary. How dangerous could that be? (7,211 words; Time: 24m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by David Hartwell), published on by .

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

Pro: The story is about how Tariq and Hasan come together and realize what they really want to do. At the start, Tariq is risking himself in protests that don't appear to be accomplishing much, while Hasan has closed his eyes to the whole thing. After Tariq rescues Hasan from the djinn, they're closer than ever, and they share a purpose.

Con: The desert spirits aren't very well explained. So Tariq sleeps 40 hours and then has to go look for Hasan. Why? Why does he even wake up? Why are they dragging Hasan away? Presumably they're responsible for enchanting him, but why him and not Tariq? And why does singing take their power away? And if the camera really is capturing pictures of the djinn, you'd think they'd get a lot more for those pics than the BBC is paying.

A minor point is that it's not clear why Michael comes to visit in person at all. They could have just uploaded all the data to him and saved him the trip.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 04/19/16)
Jack Nicholls Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I think the singing allowed them to escape dune time and get back on human time.