Saturday, October 29, 2016

Passelande, by Robert Reed

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(Near-Future SF) Lucas does jobs for backups that their human originals won't agree to. But some backups are more trouble than others. (11,237 words; Time: 37m)

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

This story is a sequel to Reed's novella, Dead Man's Run (F&SF, 10-11 2010), but it works fine on its own.

"Passelande," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 11-12|16, published on by .

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

Pro: We have a couple of threads operating here. First, Lucas isn't doing very well; it's clear he needs some help. He has two phone lines due to being overwhelmed by calls, and yet he can't afford a car anymore. This is resolved when he acquires Gabriella.

The main thread, of course, is his contract to erase Bracken's avatar. Only Bracken can do that, but it's not clear that Lucas had to threaten blackmail to get him to do that.

And then there's the mystery of the "vampire." That one doesn't get solved so much as revealed.

The bits with Lucas's father which bracket the story are unnecessary, but entertaining nevertheless.

Con: The weakest part of the story is that we're never sure why Gabriella contacted Lucas in the first place. Nor do we understand why the artist is willing to sell her to Lucas.

Lucas doesn't inspire much emotion from us. We're neither happy nor sad at his success at the end.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 11-12|16)
Robert Reed Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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