Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Simple Question, by Kris Dikeman

★★★☆☆ Average

(SF Zombies) When the fungus escaped in the lab, only Carl and Laura escaped being turned into zombies, and they’ve been trapped in the break room for days. (2,154 words; Time: 07m)

"A Simple Question," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 07-08|18, published on by .

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

Pro: The story does a nice job of laying out the apparent contradiction and answering it: why are Carl and Laura immune? (The break-room lighting kills the fungus.) It also makes the ugly compromises involved in living in such close quarters very real.

Con: Carl is annoying, but does he really deserve to die? The narrator clearly seems to think that's a simple question, but the implication is that because he annoys her, she's going to let him die. That makes her a pretty horrible person, and it's hard to like a story with such a protagonist.

A separate issue is that if their survival depended on the lights killing the fungus, why didn't they get infected at night? I couldn't find anywhere in the story where it said they couldn't turn the lights out.

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