Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Language of Flowers, by Ian Creasey

Find this issue
(SF) In near-future Cornwall, England, Travis and his wife specialize in arrangements of genetically engineered flowers that release pheromones that mimic their traditional virtues. (6,456 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: SFRevu:4

"The Language of Flowers," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05|16, published on by .

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

Pro: Travis simply wants to please his customer and then to put the racist Stannators in their place. Between the racism flowers at the memorial and the patriotism flowers at the launch of the foundation, Travis definitely puts his enemies in their place.

A minor pleasure is that it's satisfying that Vanessa manages to make an apology.

Con: It's all too easy. The Stannators make a few threats, but neither Travis nor we take them seriously. His hormones work so well that we can't believe they're legal at all, much less that they're only being used for aesthetic purposes...

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05|16)
Ian Creasey Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. First of all, I liked this story. I thought it was great how it handled the topics of racism and nationalism is a way that wasn't exceedingly dark and heavy. At the same time, I don't think it made light of the topics. And it did a good job of showing the ridiculousness of people who hold such beliefs.

    One thing I couldn't figure out was that if these flowers were so good at controlling emotions, how is it that the main characters weren't just blubbering, emotional wrecks? I mean they were completely awash in the pheromones pretty much all day every day. Did I miss something?

  2. I didn't think about that, but you're right; it should have been a LOT harder to work in that flower shop than the story would have it. Given the events of the story, I think a good case could be made for really strict government regulation of this stuff. :-)

    This is another example of the author making life too easy for his characters, I'd say.

  3. Or they have immunity from long exposure