Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Benefactors of Silence, by Nin Harris

★★★☆☆ Average

(Colony SF) On a lost colony planet, wars between rival empires have almost destroyed the nation of Lusini, but the narrator has a love for the old country, and lives with a survivor, who tells him what was lost. (1,782 words; Time: 05m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 243, published on .

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

Pro: The sadness of what was lost in the wars comes through very clearly. The horror gradually seeps in that the narrator intends to kill Malaguena and with her, what little remains of the lost civilization.

Con: .The story is very slight, and we never understand why the narrator wants to kill Malaguena. (“You’ll never be Lusini” isn’t good enough for me.) If there's a message here, I'm not seeing it.

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. The narrator says they are carrying a weapon in self-defense. But Malaguena attacks them in a way that can't be defended against.

    1. The narrator talks about how the city ruins are dangerous to walk through. I didn't think the weapon was for defense against Malaguena, although obviously he's been thinking of killing her with it on the excuse of an offense. (But why?)

      I don't think he really kills her, do you? It seems that he simply skulks away after contemplating killing her.

    2. It's dangerous for them specifically because they're a child of the enemy -- the people who destroyed the city. Yet it's their home too. They grew up here. So they go back knowing it's really foolish. They're thinking of killing her to be able to stay -- the excuse being self-defense on discovering her trying to kill them.

      No, they definitely didn't kill her. They leave in despair knowing they can't go back.