Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Independence Patch, by Bryan Camp

★★★★☆ Interesting Concept and Compelling Protagonist

(Near-Future SF) Donny is a young teen in high school, but his augments give him an intimate connection to the Internet—and put him at odds with his teachers and other students. (7,473 words; Time: 24m)

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 94, published on .

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

Pro: This is a coming of age story. Donny so badly wants the independence patch, and his desire for it colors all three episodes in his life that this story chronicles. But by the time he finally gets it, he realizes that it still doesn’t let him control the things that really matter.

At each step, Donny shows us that he has a strong moral sense and wants to be a good person. He wants to let his teacher know he’s got a vulnerability and tries to do it in a subtle way, even though he screws it up. When he sleeps with Rachael, he realizes she misunderstood who he was, and it bothers him that he got with her under false pretenses, even though he didn’t do it on purpose. And when he finally gets the independence app, he leaves the “findme” app running because he knows his mother would worry without it.

Con: Donny is really the only strong character in the story. His implants are very cool, but he makes little use of them in the story; for the most part, they affect his life merely by being there.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 94)
Bryan Camp Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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