Saturday, March 2, 2019

Running the Gullet, by Vajra Chandrasekera

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Far-Future SF) In the days when Sol is becoming a red giant, an ancient creature speaks to a group of “children” and proposes they play a game. (3,624 words; Time: 12m)

"Running the Gullet," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 03-04|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.114 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s clear pretty quickly that this “game” Irgul is proposing isn’t very wholesome. The mystery is the question of what she gets out of it.

The revelation that it’s a billions-of-years-old identity-theft scam is both enlightening and amusing. Irgul definitely gets what she’s got coming to her.

Con: There’s a saying that a speculative story can have real toads in imaginary gardens or imaginary toads in real gardens, but you can’t get away with imaginary toads in imaginary gardens. In this story, we can’t relate to any of the characters or to the setting, so it really drags.

The ending, suggesting that today’s issues of wealth inequality will still be a problem billions of years from now was jarring, and the ending ("Eat the rich!")  was cringe-worthy.

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Vajra Chandrasekera Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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