Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memories of Fish, by Shauna O'Meara

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(Near-Future SF) Through the eyes of a drone, a “Tourist” explores a Sri Lanka town from the comfort of his own home, but ends up taking an unexpected detour. (4,185 words; Time: 13m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Gripping and Emotional

"Memories of Fish," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 270, published on by .

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

Pro: Whatever DroneGirl wanted her audience to see, we’ll never know, but presumably she wanted them to see how her people lived, and wanted it badly enough to give up her life. We never learn her name, but she becomes a real person to us with every little smile, every moment of hesitation. We cheer for her, we sit on the edge of our seats, and we mourn her at the end.

The bitter irony is that she probably could have surrendered at the end—her Internet fame would have protected her—but there was no way she could know that.

The Internet response is gratifying and depressing all at the same time. The crowd response is completely believable—we see that all the time now—and the idea that it could be so powerful that the authorities in Sri Lanka would turn on a dime to alert the police not to use force is particularly gratifying.

And yet nothing of substance comes of it. A few people give some money. Some good gets done, but the bulk of the problem remains as before, and the attention of the world moves to the next bright object.

The tag #GoDroneGirl is a welcome bit of comic relief.

Con: The emotional impact mostly comes from a little girl dying, which is enough to make anyone cry.

There’s no dialogue, no character development, and the story leaves you feeling bleak and empty.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 270)
Shauna O'Meara Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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