Tuesday, November 22, 2016

You Make Pattaya, by Rich Larson

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(SF Thriller) The narrator is a con man in near-future Thailand, and he has a scheme that might net him enough to retire. (5,852 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Exciting, with good characters and an intricate plot
Recommended By: SFRevu:4 RHorton:4 NClarke JStrahan

"You Make Pattaya," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 267, published on by .

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

Pro: To get the most out of this story, read it twice. The first time, it's the story of how the narrator tried to con a celebrity but ended up getting conned himself. The second time, though, it's the story of how Nahm managed to fool the narrator by playing on his greed. He clearly deserves it, which makes it a satisfying read, even though we know how it comes out. You can see how every little plot twist is telegraphed in advance, provided you're watching for it. Beautiful work!

Both Nahm and the narrator are well-developed characters, and there's even a good bit of tension in the story.

Con: Neither character is very appealing, so there's no emotional payoff.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 267)
Rich Larson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Strong story. Unsympathetic, somewhat unpleasant young men seem to be a common character for him, although he's written shorts with interesting and engaging leads as well.

  2. I agree with RSR's ★★★★☆ rating. A fun, crisp story with believable characters in an interesting setting.

    Making my way down the most-recommended short stories in the 2017 Hugo Awards page, this story is a relief after finding "Things with Beards" and "Terminal" kind of disappointing given their high placement.

    1. If it helps, I was a bit bemused by how popular Things with Beards was as well. I thought it was fine but a bit too meta. Haven't got to Terminal yet.

    2. Things with Beards probably got extra points from big fans of "The Thing."