Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bourbon, Sugar, Grace, by Jessica Reisman

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(Colony Planet SF) Since the Combine all but abandoned Sloe, scavengers are important, and Fox is a good one. Her latest mission could be her best yet, provided she survives it. (8,463 words; Time: 28m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

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

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

Pro: Fox is a great character—her struggle with herself to recognize and avoid bad choices is touching. Likewise, her devotion to Sloe; we know it’s an awful place, but we see it through her eyes, and in her eyes it’s beautiful. She even swears by a local, made-up god.

The plot is pretty much about Fox wanting to bring her treasure back and get paid, but that develops naturally into her desire to use it to benefit the colony as much as possible. And, symbolically at least, she sees her god come to life.

Con: The #1 problem with this story is that it starts off as SF but veers into the fantastic when the rock starts have supernatural powers of healing and mind control. It’s the physical embodiment of the “Sloe Ghost” she prays to, and in the last scene, it seems that it escapes its prison in the rock and moves out to become the local god.

There are numerous other things that break disbelief: how would you supply oxygen to an open city without it leaking away? Why would anyone have a child on a world where everyone was a visiting worker and no one could breathe without assistance? It’s hard to believe the stars could be bright enough to cast shadows—especially when one or more moons were out. A meteor strike is a rare thing, but multiple meteor strikes at the same site are impossible to believe.

Some things are simply puzzling. Fox has two moms, but one of them is male.

There also are a number of things that look like simple editing failures. For example, “The thin light of Sloe’s sun cast streamers through wreckage.” (Missing a “the.”) There are also two repeated infodumps. Both were small, and the info was needed, but there was no reason to tell us the same thing twice.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Enjoyed the main characters and the setting. Although the tech and the magic rock were a little sketchy.