Monday, January 9, 2017

Tagging Bruno, by Allen M. Steele

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(Planetary SF; Coyote) A scientific team tagging “boids” in the wilderness on Coyote copes with equipment that’s falling apart, a drunken leader, and the man-eating, flightless birds themselves. (12,458 words; Time: 41m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Allen M. Steele has written other stories in his “Coyote” universe, but this one stands alone with no problems.
"Tagging Bruno," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 01-02|17, published on by .

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

Pro: This is a good, exciting story. It’s clear from the start that Blair will be a problem; the only real question is how many casualties there will be.

Con: Blair is such a cardboard villain that it detracts from the story. Sawyer comes across as rather weak when he never stands up to Blair, which is a little disappointing. The two young men aren’t fleshed out, and it’s easy to confuse them for each other.

The author has a bad habit of “showing and then telling anyway.” For example, we’ve learned that Blair wanted to spend the afternoon in a tavern, and then we’ve seen him drinking from a whisky flask, so we know the score. The author doesn’t need to devote a paragraph to explaining that he’s an alcoholic. This isn't frequent enough to ruin the story, but it's annoying.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 01-02|17)
Allen M. Steele Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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