Thursday, November 8, 2018

Extreme, by Sean Mcmullen

[F&SF]
★★★☆☆ Average

(SF Sports) George is into extreme sports—so extreme that he comes close to dying, and so into it that he does it over and over. Enough that he’s intensely interested when a mysterious woman offers him something really extreme. (4,990 words; Time: 16m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)


"Extreme," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 11-12|18, published on by .

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

Review: 2018.596 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part is probably the detailed descriptions of George’s various escapades. George himself is hard to root for.

Con: The ending doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The rich people have enough automation that they don’t need ordinary people anymore, so they start a plague to kill everyone off and they get people like George to shoot the survivors. You’d need thousands of people like George to make much of a difference, and you’d never get them prepared without news of it leaking.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I don’t think the intent was necessarily to give us a hard sci-fi practical breakdown of how the ultra-rich would wipe out the poor— nor does it explicitly say George is the only one taking out survivors... I think the story was a lot of high-action fun.

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    1. It definitely was--except for the ending. But I won't recommend a story if I found the ending disappointing. In general, any story that has a message it wants to hit you over the head with is going to suffer--even when the reader agrees with the message. And I'm not sure how many agree with the "Rich people are psychopaths" message in the first place.

      I agree entirely that it didn't say that George was the only one shooting survivors. That's why I said there'd be no way to keep this a secret; there would be too many people involved.

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