Saturday, November 19, 2016

Like the Deadly Hands, by Nisi Shawl

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(Hard SF) Carpenter Marie, a trustee in a prison on another world, sees a great opportunity to meet a prisoner she admires. (6,995 words; Time: 23m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"Like the Deadly Hands," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 12|16, published on by .

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

Pro: The prisoners are very clever in figuring out how to use the poisonous food to eliminate the trustees.

Con: There's no one to root for in this story. Carpenter Marie comes the closest, but she's merely a victim here. It's hard to believe the AI wouldn't take some drastic action if all the trustees were to die, so it's difficult to see what benefit the prisoners get from killing them--other than the pleasure of seeing them die. Likewise, it's hard to believe that local plants wouldn't be properly analyzed to identify poisonous ones. This is a prison, after all.

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