Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Suite for Accompanied Cello, by Tamara Vardomskaya

Fortress by Dimitrije Miljus
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(Clockwork Fantasy) Rielle accepts an offer from her husband’s rival to play accompaniment for his daughter in a competition. They need the money, but there’s something too perfect about this daughter. (5,947 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 242, published on .

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

Pro: It’s a great “aha moment” when we learn Galethia is an automaton. It explains her unfinished face, her perfect hands, and her inhuman ability to play each piece exactly the same way each time. It even explains her name; Galatea was the statue carved by Pygmalion which Venus brought to life because he loved it like a real girl.

Rielle accepts Galethia as real, and fights for her cause the same way she fights for women in general. Even though the final performance is a failure, and she ends by carrying Galethia’s broken body out of the hall, she at least won the victory of having everyone hear her composition.

Con: Arguably Rielle simply uses Galethia and Gabriel both in order to ruin the reward for Lorenzo and to get exposure for her own work, and this makes her much less sympathetic, and her victory at the end (such as it is) is a hollow one.

Given the powerful clockwork technologies in this world, it’s a surprise that the people who put on the performance don’t have a way to test for clockwork technology in the players and their instruments.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 242)
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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I was really enjoying this, but then I was disappointed with the way it wrapped up.

    1. I sometimes think I should put something above the fold to identify stories that don't have clean endings, but I always conclude it would be too much of a spoiler. People often disagree on that point too, although I certainly agree with you here.