Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Welcome to Astuna, by Pip Coen

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(SF Mystery) Jane wakes up in a strange place. Did her professor drug her? And why is she suddenly 18 years older? (3,845 words; Time: 12m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Engaging, Thrilling, Satisfying

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 97, published on .

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

Pro: All the pieces fit marvelously. Just to pick a few:
  • Young Jane admires her scar—we can see how she ended up in espionage. 
  • She respects how athletic older Jane’s body is—it has to be, for the fighting she has to do. 
  • The deleted memories that let Jane pass the scanner.
  • The encryption that keeps Thirsk from examining those stolen memories
Everything we learn about Thirsk make us unsympathetic to him; We know Jane is going to kill him, but we're okay with that. All the details are neatly tied together with a bow on top.

Astuna is a Basque word meaning "heavy," but, when applied to a person, it can also mean "stupid." It might just be a coincidence, but it seems to apply very well to the typical customers of such a place.

Con: There are no likable characters in the story. Jane herself is a jerk—and older-Jane is an assassin.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 97)
Pip Coen Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I felt like this was just getting started when it was over.

    1. Grin. You wanted to read about Jane's further adventures, eh? I can sympathize. But this mission was clearly complete.