Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Assassin in the Clouds, by Robert R. Chase

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(Near-Future SF Adventure) The narrator boards an aerostat for a leisurely aerial cruise, but his job is to protect the life of a scientist, and he has no idea why anyone wants to kill him. (9,931 words; Time: 33m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ A Fun Action-Adventure Story

"Assassin in the Clouds," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 01-02|18, published on by .

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

Pro: It’s a pretty good action-adventure story. The hero is competent, but he genuinely seems to have a conscience. It’s fun to watch all the little mysteries get explained. (E.g. we learn where the stowaway was living.)

On deeper level, the story explores the disruptions that improved automation is going to bring, but without assuming the outcome is a foregone conclusion. And the mind-enhancing technology that eventually leaves you stupider than you were in the first place was clever.

Con: The story evokes no strong emotions. The hero is cool and competent and he succeeds, but we never develop any emotions for him. Dr. Kamiji isn’t a very sympathetic character either.

It’s hard to believe the aerostat wouldn’t put in to a port for repairs following the bomb in the swimming pool.

I don’t think it’s possible to direct a lighter-than-air craft with sails. The craft moves with the wind, so from the perspective of the aerostat, there is never any wind at all.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 01-02|18)
Robert R. Chase Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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