Monday, February 26, 2018

Beek, by Tom Ligon

★★★☆☆ Average

(Near-Future SF) Louise tends the beehives on the White House lawn. She doesn’t usually see the President at all, so it’s unsettling when he turns up wanting to ask questions. (3,168 words; Time: 10m)

"Beek," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 03-04|18, published on by .

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

Background: A “beek” is a “bee geek.”

Pro: The twist at the end is the big payoff (even if it’s unrealistic), but the detailed information about bees is great fun to read.

Up until the last paragraph, it seemed hard to believe that the president had such an intense interest in the bee hive that he’d take time from his schedule to do this, but at the end, we realize this was on the schedule all along.

Con: It seems unlikely that the President would need to find a local beekeeper to get advice. His staff would have found him a melittologist.

If you don’t find bees interesting, the story is mostly infodump.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Between the lines, Louise IS a bee expert from the USDA "Beltsville Bee Lab," which is why she's tending these particular bees. You're right that it is an infodump, one I'm guilty of doing repeatedly at bee outreach events!

    1. Bees are reasonably popular in SF. They make up about half of the insect subgenre.

      As for the infodumps, at least they were about something real and accurate. The worst are infodumps about imaginary places, which lead readers to ask themselves, "Why am I reading this?!"