Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Loud Table, by Jonathan Carroll

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(Present-day SF) Four retired men meet every day for conversation. One of them worries he's showing symptoms of Alzheimer's. (5,118 words; Time: 17m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

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

Pro: The details of how the old men meet, interact with each other, and feel about the passing of time is excellent. The account of how they ended up in a gay coffee shop is priceless.

Con: The story falls apart when the SF element is introduced. There's no foreshadowing of any kind to prepare us it, and it jars the reader out of the story. Worse, the narrator emerges as an alien Mary Sue, who's all-powerful and solves all problems with a wave of his hand.

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