Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Patchwork Procedure, by Claude Lalumière

(Steampunk) An agent from the city-state of Montreal lies in prison after unsuccessfully trying to apprehend a man who stole Montreal's secret immortality treatment. (7,427 words)

Rating: 1, Needs improvement

, by appeared in the issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies (Issue 206).

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

Over 50% of the story is actually infodump, some of it disguised as dialogue that's really monologue. What little true dialogue there is is unnatural. The balance of the narration is of the all-tell-no-show variety--"explaining" emotions and motivations to the reader.

Many key details are impossible to believe. Why would the president-mayor care about a homeless ten-year-old? Why would the head of a global conspiracy share all the details with an agent of a foreign government? And why would they care so much about a random gay couple? The idea that the Chinese government would simply shoot a captured spy rather than interrogating him is ridiculous.

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