Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Region Five, by Linda Nagata

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(Military SF) To evacuate his unit before the attackers get them, Josh has to get them from the 38th floor to the 88th floor of a damaged skyscraper. And they don’t know what’s above them. (7,444 words; Time: 24m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Tense, Realistic Near-Future Thriller
Recommended By: GDozois:4

"Region Five," by (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: Josh overcomes his own fears, unifies his team, overcomes the mind control device, and even his own high command in order to do the right thing. Nor is he reckless—his whole team clearly backs him up.

The exoskeletons and the metal cap both sound plausible, and the broad use of the latter both to aid and to control soldiers seems sadly plausible too.

The soldiers’ determination to do the right thing is heartening, and the story ends at exactly the right point. Win or lose, they’ve won their battle for honor, and that’s all the matters.

Con: The bad guys are cardboard villains. And given that both sides hated the technical people, why were they stupid enough to return?

The editing is poor. For example, at one point the text says “Josh” when it should say “Trident.”

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com
Linda Nagata Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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