Thursday, June 22, 2017

Transcendental Mission: Riley's Story, by James Gunn

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(SF; Transcendental) Riley finds himself in a place with no light and no sound, and he can’t even feel his body. He tries to remember how he got there. (5,014 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

"Transcendental Mission: Riley's Story," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 07-08|17, published on by .

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

The story is 80% infodump and 20% unbelievable dialogue. There’s no plot, no action, and no conclusion.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I'm kind of annoyed by the rash of "Transcendental" pieces in Asimov's. So far I've read the Adastra/Asha story in the previous issue, and then this one, and they both felt like filler-y promo pieces -- establishing some backstory (which feels like a dry recap of what I assume is in the books), stating that something exciting is going to happen to Our Hero, andddd that's it.

    I mean, I wouldn't raise my eyebrow at one; two poor ones in a row is a little annoying, but this issue has two Transcendental pieces and the next one has two as well. By this point, I don't think I'll be reading them. ::grump::

    1. Asimov's usually has the highest standards of any of the magazines I regularly read. It baffles me to find stuff like this in it.

    2. I'd love to hear in what way you mean "higher standards" :D

      I'm a new subscriber to Asimov's (and it was high on my list). So far my reaction's mixed. The big March/April anniversary issue was very disappointing to me; the May/June, OTOH, I really enjoyed. July/August I've begun, and will probably finish over the weekend... so the jury's still out on how good a match Asimov's is for me.

      But my point is, I'm fascinated by getting as much of a bead as I can on the nature and style of the different magazines, so I'd love any thoughts you have.

    3. Have a look at the charts on the 2017 Best Editor (Short Form) page. Sheila Williams and C.C. Finlay really stand out for publishing a large quantity of quality work as well as a high percentage of quality work.