Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Impetus, by Shane Landry

★★★★★ Loveable Characters and Thrilling Action

(SF Sports) Sakura was a champion before her accident, and her dad objects to her competing again, but she may have to to support him and her little brother. (6,340 words; Time: 21m)

"Impetus," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 09-10|18, published on by .

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

Pro: Sakura wins a victory for her family, but she also wins a victory over her own fears. Her humble practicality and genuine love for her family make her a pleasure to read about and root for.

Ren has his own charms, not least of which is his desire to help his sister. It’s also nice that his hacking abilities have their limits (e.g. he can’t get into the bank).

Even their dad is a good character, since it’s clear that he worries about his kids and wants the best for them. His deathbed apology to Sakura, giving her his blessing to compete, makes it all the more painful when he dies after all. We understand (on a deep level) why they’d mourn him, and we mourn him too.

Worth noting: Traditionally in Japan it was considered uncouth to be seen trying to be #1, and humility in victory was celebrated. Sakura comes across as even more of a hero if you know this.

Finally, Toru isn’t entirely a cardboard villain. He has his reasons for despising Sakura. That he worked hard for his place in prior competitions whereas Sakura’s dad had pulled strings to get her in. When Ren hacks the system to qualify Sakura for the upcoming tournament, it actually underlines Toru’s complaint. Toru is far from sympathetic, but we do understand his point.

Con: The biggest drawback to the story is probably Ren’s nearly supernatural hacking ability.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 09-10|18)
Shane Landry Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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