Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Equalizers, by Ian Creasey

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(Near-Future SF) To reduce discrimination , Pamela’s office is trying out “Equalizers,” special glasses that make everyone look and sound the same. She wonders if they could improve her love life too. (4,972 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The Equalizers," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 01-02|18, published on by .

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

Pro: Superficially, the plot is about Pamela doing something to get out of the rut she’s in, where she picks sex partners for their looks, and then doesn’t want to see them again afterwards. After the experiment with the Equalizers, she decides to try it the old fashioned way, and calls the last guy back.

Similarly, she decides that the office will use them for interviews, but not all the time, so arguably a second plot element is resolved.

And the whole idea of the Equalizers is a funny extrapolation of current HR trends.

Con: Pamela seems so shallow it’s hard to care very much about her.

There’s an aborted plot where her friend Vonda tricks her into bed, but it fizzles at the last moment. There are plenty of hints: Vonda says “maybe you need to go the other way” the glasses come with “GAYDAR Elimination.” Anyway, after Pamela kisses Vonda, she takes off the glasses, sees who it is, and after a brief moment of anger, she’s totally okay with it. That's hard to believe.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 01-02|18)
Ian Creasey Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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