Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Fall, by Arlan Andrews, Sr.

(SF) Rist descends from the highlands and is captured by the lowlanders, who've never seen a human being as small as him. He struggles to learn their langauge and adapt to their ways. (17,923 words)

Rating: 2, Not recommended, Incomplete
"Fall" is the third story in a series that started with Thaw, continued with Flow, and will presumably be concluded with one or more future stories. 

"Fall," by appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, published , by .

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

Pro: Those who did read "Thaw" and "Flow" will be interested to learn what happened next, as well as getting more hints about the world Rist lives in. For example, The big escarpment appears to be part of the continental slope, exposed because the sea level has fallen so much.

To a degree, the story does have an independent plot; Rist comes to Shadowfall a stranger, works hard to earn a place there, and he achieves one.

Con: The story really doesn't stand alone. It's apt to be an unsatisfying place to start the series.

The various characters behave in highly unnatural ways in this story. The princess seem to be very foolish to put so much trust in Wakan. Wakan gives Rist far too much freedom to play with the ancient relics, but once they're communicating, he's crazy to train him for the games. The fact that the princess points that out doesn't make it better

But the worst of all is that Rist is becoming a Mary Sue. He's just supernaturally good at everything, from sex to fighting, to figuring out ancient technology.

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