Friday, September 7, 2018

A Study in Oils, by Kelly Robson

★★★★☆ Interesting Protagonist in an Interesting Setting

(SF Thriller; Lucky Peach) A young hockey player charged with murder on the moon seeks asylum on Earth, but unhappy Lunarians are trying to find him. (12,009 words; Time: 40m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘GTognetti+1 πŸ‘KBurnham+2 πŸ‘RSR+1 πŸ‘STomaino+2 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 144, published on .

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

Review: 2018.492 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Zhang Lei isn’t a particularly nice guy, but he’s trying to be. As we learn more about his background, he earns more and more of our sympathy. When his moving painting, partly drawn in his own blood, earns him his freedom, it’s a good feeling because we feel he earned it.

The way his secret gradually leaks out isn’t entirely his fault, although some of it’s clearly due to him being careless. That’s a human thing, though. It's a plus that he's a real person with real flaws.

The scenes describing how his team turned on him are really disturbing, and all-too-believable.

The setting is beautiful, although we’re left wondering what has happened to the rest of the Earth. Hints here and there suggest most of the population lives underground or in arcologies or something.

Con: The disable button itself is a little hard to suspend disbelief for. Not so much the device itself as the way it’s used. Anyone, anywhere can disable him. Even though Earth seems to think Luna’s rules are unjust, a disabler installed on the moon still works the same way here on Earth. Even though Earth has tribunals that rule on these things whereas the moon doesn’t even seem to have due process.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I agree with the rating of 4-stars. I think this story is set in the Lucky Peach world, maybe not the same time period but definitely the same world.

    The author had a recent holiday in China. I think the setting of this story is based on where she went, and it is beautiful. The author has given her story a wonderful setting and made it feel so real and alive to the reader.

    1. I've updated these in the database, but they won't show on the site unless we a) update the pages manually or b) finish the migration to WordPress.