Sunday, April 14, 2019

Painless, by Rich Larson

★★★☆☆ Average

(Supersoldier) With tremendous powers of regeneration, Mars is an incomparable killing machine, but he’s on the run, and there’s one special prisoner he’s determined to rescue. (5,412 words; Time: 18m)

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.211 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The flashback sections and the main thread complement each other nicely, and we gradually figure out where Mars came from and what he’s really up to. Even so, the identity of the prisoner comes as a surprise.

The fight scenes are spectacular, and they even have some tension, despite Mars’s nigh invulnerability.

Con: It’s not clear how Mars figured out that he had a double who’d been captured. We know he didn’t think it possible after his “accident” with the fuel truck, so how did he know to be looking for it?

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. 4-stars myself. I thought this was the best Short Story from this author for 2019. Mars heard a rumour - that is good enough for me to explain how he knew.

    1. It's possible I should look at this one again, when I have a bit more time. But Larson writes so much good stuff--are you sure this was his best in 2019?

  2. Of those I read from him this year, my favorite was Death of an Air Salesman, but this was my second favorite.

  3. Of his works that are in the under 7500 word length for 2019, making it a Short Story, Yes - I do think it is his best work.

    I've read 6 of his that were of the Short story length and first published in 2019 and I do think this is his best Short work for 2019. This is Not counting his novelette.

    Like Laura, I also really liked Death of an Air Salesman for its romantic plot, but I thought this story had a bit more to it.

    This author does produce a lot of work, and most of it is rather consistently good at 3 to 4 stars, so pretty hard to pin down "the best". Guess it boils down to reading it and personal preferences.