Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A List of Forty-Nine Lies, by Steven Fischer

★★★★☆ Short but Very Effective

(Dystopia) Levi is not telling this story. He is not a freedom fighter—the world is so perfect no one needs to be a freedom fighter. Secrets don’t exist anymore. (525 words; Time: 01m)

Recommended By: SFRevu+1 RHorton+1 JMcGregor+1

"A List of Forty-Nine Lies," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 01-02|18, published on by .

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

Review: 2018.047 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It tells such a sad story about a suicide bomber avenging his wife and child and striking a blow against a totalitarian state. Presumably by thinking only in lies he can defeat the hovering machines that read minds.

These lies tell quite a story. About a revolution that put the New Dawn in charge, about Levi’s personal tragedy, about the counterrevolution, and even about their strategy.

The last three lies: “I am not afraid. I am not afraid. I am not afraid” are chilling.

Impressive how much is packed into 500 words.

Con: Given its length, it doesn’t have much character development or setting description.

It’s a song of praise to a suicide bomber.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Amazingly effective for such a short piece.

    1. Author's last name is spelt "Fischer" with a c.

    2. Thanks, fixed. The error was in F&SF's TOC (repeated in reviews by other reviewers) but I should have noticed the discrepancy when I looked up the author's website.

    3. Ah, yes, I see it at Tangent and Goodreads. They've corrected it in the Kindle edition now. I noticed Rich Horton in his Locus column got the last name correct, but called him Simon -- oops.