Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kindle No Flame, by Stephen R. Loftus-Mercer

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(Near-Future SF) A scholar travels to the Bodleian Library in Oxford on the same day a mysterious problem with disintegrating paper erupts in the US. (2,867 words; Time: 09m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"Kindle No Flame," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 11-12|17, published on by .

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

Pro: For anyone who loves books, this story is heart wrenching.

Much of what makes the story fun is the author’s rich use of references. A genre-related one is that 233° C is 451° F. Even the comment about the crossword puzzle has relevance: A three-letter word for “abomination” might be “sin,” and that’s exactly what the narrator feels himself guilty of.

It should comfort readers that the Bodleian Library is in the process of digitizing its entire collection.

Con: It’s not a story in the conventional sense. The narrator never interacts with other people, for example, and we never even learn his name. It’s just an account of a catastrophe.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 11-12|17)
Stephen R. Loftus-Mercer Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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