Saturday, July 28, 2018

P.Q., by James Warner

★★★☆☆ Average

(Hard SF) Daljeet discovers a new species of ant in the California desert which seem to create art. (2,209 words; Time: 07m)

"P.Q.," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 276, published on by .

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

Pro: Most of the fun of the story is watching Daljeet and Mary Sue get more and more wrapped up in the ants, with the logical conclusion being them fleeing the country with a box full of ants.

Con: There’s very little dialogue and not much character development to speak of, and we never do figure out what benefits the “art” gave the ants.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This is the only story in this issue where I really disagree with your ranking: while I agree that Superbright was the standout, I would put this only a hair lower. I thought it was a great idea, perfectly executed in its four-page length; that we don't find out what the ants are doing I considered a plus in this case.

    1. It's hard for a story under 4000 words to impress me, simply because so much that I usually value has to be left out.