Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Good Shepherd, by William C. Dietz

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(Military SF) Murphy is a cyborg killing machine. Escorting a teenage girl through a jungle during the middle of a rebellion isn’t what he was designed for, but it’s not what teenage girls are designed for either. (8,211 words; Time: 27m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

I never read any of the other “Legion of the Damned” stories, but I don’t think that’s necessary before reading this one

"The Good Shepherd," by (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: Murphy gets the girl to safety, so there’s a happy ending. Caitlin herself seems to have grown up a lot from the experience, so that’s positive too.

The scene where Murphy sacrifices himself but Caitlin saves him is deeply moving.

The whole concept of the army of involuntary cyborgs is disturbing on several levels.

Con: The writing itself drags this story down a lot. The dialog is mostly okay, but the narration is intrusive and larded with infodumps.

The villains are 100% cardboard. Not only do they deploy suicide bombers (when they say “going on strike,” they really mean it), they’re willing to send the governor a video of his teenage daughter being killed just out of pure meanness.

If Murphy is ready to die, why hasn’t he let himself die already? And are murderers really the people you’d want to turn into super-soldiers?

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com
William C. Dietz Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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