Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Say it Low, then Loud, by Osahon Ize-Iyamu

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(Military SF) Efosa feels he can’t be complete until he absorbs more of his family culture, but they’ve cut him off ever since he went off to the war. (5,209 words; Time: 17m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 136, published on .

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

Pro: There's a lot happening in this story. Efosa feels he needs his family's cultural secrets before he can be a whole person, but, but the end, he's decided he doesn't need that after all. “There is something to be happy over, and he didn’t get it entirely from moving forward, as he thought he would. From progressing. From getting cultural secrets.”

There are also themes about duty to family, duty to country, colonization, etc.

Con: This story uses a "lyrical mathematical" style, in which words from math or science appear to be used for their sounds not their meanings. We both find this style very difficult to read, and for a story like this one, which requires more than one careful read to fully understand it, that's fatal.

If you liked this, though, you might try "The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies," by Matthew Kressel (Clarkesworld; issue 104, May 1, 2015), which uses the same lyrical mathematical style for a very different story.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 136)
Osahon Ize-Iyamu Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Yeah, this style isn't for me either. I just couldn't parse enough meaning out of it.

    (I notice you've given this 2 stars, but have a "Rating: 1" label on it.)

    1. Thanks. That usually means I changed my mind at the last minute and forgot to update the labels. One star really means the story had elementary writing errors--not just that I really hated it. Experimental stories that just don't work for me should get 2 stars, not 1--no matter how badly they don't work for me. :-)