Friday, July 6, 2018

Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling, by L.X. Beckett

★★★★★ A Gripping Story in a Fascinating Setting

(Near-Future SF) A young musician/writer’s attempt to recover his online social standing leads him to dangerous people whose idea of “art” can be life-threatening, especially to the desperate. (24,472 words; Time: 1h:21m)

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"," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 07-08|18, published on by .

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

Review: 2018.361 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This story is about Drow learning to be smart enough to walk away. To walk away from Tala, of course, but also to walk away from the whole “stroke economy.” Several of his actions might have led to his rehabilitation, but note that he never bothers to check his standing again once he picks up the saxophone and realizes that making music is what he was meant to do and that nothing else matters. From that point, he still has to escape, but he’s already won his victory.

The story is filled with strong characters. Drow himself, of course, but also Tala, and even Crane. Jerv falls into a special category: we think we know an awful lot about him before we even meet him, and yet he’s actually worse than we’d imagined.

Con: Tala is a bit too powerful to be believable.

The mind-enhancing drug seems to be so powerful that you’d expect the people using it to be running the world.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I also thought very highly of this, but I liked it more around the halfway mark than I did by the time I got to the end. Partly it was because I felt it was a little overstuffed, but I think a bigger reason was because this story isn't really, despite the editor's claim in the intro, about the nature of the gig/reputation economy. This story is really about how the very rich can do whatever they want. As you note, Tala is so powerful that it's impossible to believe that Drow's escape will be successful. She has video of him agreeing to be tattooed, which he has no recollection of; she gets Jerv arrested (and then, presumably, released). It's impossible to believe that she won't just kidnap him and generate additional footage of him agreeing to continue with his slow death.