Sunday, August 12, 2018

Kingfisher, by Robert Reed

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Far-Future SF; Great Ship) Kingfisher searches an endless icefield for a woman he can’t forget. He’s been searching a long time—tens of thousands of years at least. But he’s not giving up. (11,943 words; Time: 39m)

Some familiarity with the Great Ship universe is required to make sense of this story

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 143, published on .

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

Pro: It’s a nice twist when we realize he wants to kill her, not be reunited with her. His memories have gradually made it clear to us just how abusive the relationship was, so it makes perfect sense. The followup twist—that this isn’t her at all—is equally well done, since we’re aware that his brain injury makes his memories unreliable.

At the end, we’re not surprised that he continues his hunt alone because, at this point, that’s all he is.

Con: The hero is unrelatable, and the more we learn about him, the harder it is to relate to him at all. Someone so obsessed as to search for 100,000,000 years just to get revenge is incomprehensible. Particularly when he’s not even sure if she ever existed at all.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 143)
Robert Reed Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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