Monday, July 3, 2017

Mix Tapes From Dead Boys, by E. Catherine Tobler

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(Surreal SF) Hadly explores an old derelict spaceship that orbits Neptune. It ought to be inert, but somehow something still functions. (4,956 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 86, published on .

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

This experimental piece, full of impressions and emotions, simply doesn’t work for me. Is it science? Is it magic? Who knows? Bits that ought to be clear, aren’t. You can’t see an image in a spectrogram, for example, nor can you debug a communications protocol by extracting a glitch. By the end, it’s not clear what (if anything) has actually happened, and the experience is exhausting.

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This "experimental" style seems to be a common go-to for the author. I'd be willing to dive deeper into her stories to see what I'm likely missing from a first reading, but details like those you point out don't allow me to trust that it will be worthwhile.

  2. Well, it's visceral; I'll give her that. Definitely the most experimental one I've read of hers yet. The bulk of the story seems to be visions occurring in the blink of an eye while Hadley is in the cockpit of the derelict. Visions of the future, the past, fever dreams, drug-induced hallucinations, who knows?

    The title had me expecting something very different since I'm of an age to have received mix tapes from boys (not dead, thankfully). It also made wonder how many younger people look at that title and think, "What the heck is a mix tape?" :) Or maybe a few older too, I suppose.