Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bury Me in the Rainbow, by Bill Johnson

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Near-Future SF Adventure) As a new leader in an independent-minded community in the Dakotas, Tony gets the job of disposing of the body of an alien assassin. Between the locals and the aliens, things get complicated fast. (34,075 words; Time: 1h:53m)

"Bury Me in the Rainbow," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 03-04|18, published on by .

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

Pro: The best part of the story is watching Tony wheedle all the different affected parties into doing what he wants them to do.

It's nice that there are no cardboard villains. Everyone seems to have understandable motives, and no one is unreasonable.

It creates an interesting world, and the ending hints that there are more stories coming in the same setting. I'll look forward to them.

Con: It’s hard to believe the Summit people’s best option would be to join the alien spaceship, and it’s hard to believe that the spaceship leaders would think the Summit community was the best choice of all the humans they might find.

The story didn't make me feel particularly attached to the Summit or any of its people.

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I assume that I read "We Will Drink a Fish Together", the story to which this is related (I've been a regular Asimov's reader since 1990), but I can't say that I remember a single thing about it. As a stand-alone, this story really didn't work for me, either: while there were certainly things that I liked about it, too much of the time it felt kind of like reading a mystery where the author has withheld all of the important clues. Various intended-to-be-dramatic revelations are produced, and my reaction was basically "And....?". And I couldn't for the life of me understand why one lodge locking the caretakers out of the Repository was viewed by everyone as some kind of devastating political coup, as opposed to provoking a general response of "You a******s. Unlock it."

    I also didn't understand why anyone would think that joining a community where political differences are settled by murder would be a good idea.

    1. Hmmm. They are a bit like a militia, aren't they?

  2. This short story is not a stand-alone, in my opinion. The first part feels necessary to understand what's going on and what's at stake. I didn't particularly care for any specific character.