Monday, May 30, 2016

The Beef, by J.D. Moyer

(SF) By 2076, no one wants to eat real meat anymore, so a conscientious rancher looks to find something meaningful to do with her last 900 head of cattle. (5,317 words)

Rating: 3, Unremarkable

"," by appeared in the 23 May 2016 issue of Strange Horizons.

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

Pro: The story does a nice job of developing the character of the rancher via her diary entries. She's got the realism of anyone who really did live on a ranch, but a kind heart nonetheless, and we find ourselves wishing her the best. And laughing along with her at various phases of failure in the experiment.

Her motive from the start is to wrap up the ranch and figure out what to do with the rest of her life. At the end, she's accomplished that, even if we suspect the retrovirus helped.

Con: For the most part, the rancher merely watches events happen--she has limited influence on them. This makes her a weak protagonist and weakens the story as well.

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