Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Apocalypse Considered Through a Helix of Semiprecious Foods and Recipes, by Tobias S. Buckell

★★★☆☆ Average

(Post-Apocalypse Vignettes) Four vignettes explore post-apocalypse (or at least dystopic) settings in terms of their efforts to find foods. (4,805 words; Time: 16m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

The title is a reference to the Hugo-and-Nebula-Award-winning short story “Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones,” by Samuel R. Delany, but there’s no connection between that story and this one other than the title.

"Apocalypse Considered Through a Helix of Semiprecious Foods and Recipes," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 05-06|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.288 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: There are five apocalypses here:

  1. The first is set in a world where America has apparently divided between “Blue” and “Red,” leaving the red states with no manufacturing or technology. A family sets off to rob and possibly kill another family just to get the ingredients to make pancakes.
  2. The next story set is many years post-nuclear, and it’s still unsafe to even breathe the air outside. A resident of one of the underground shelters is driving their last working truck from another shelter, where she picked up (among other things) the makings of a Reuben sandwich.
  3. This one isn’t an apocalypse at all; it’s a Christian dystopia in the US, where a group of people risk death just to sample some beer smuggled in from Canada.
  4. This one isn’t an apocalypse either; it’s set in the “cardboard dystopia” where the Lump of Labor Fallacy is true but the Law of Comparative Advantage is not, and so the automation that eliminates rote work ends up creating misery for everyone.
  5. This one doesn’t have any speculative element at all. Perhaps that’s the point.

Con: They vary in quality, but, being vignettes, they have no plots, and being short, they have no character development.

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Tobias S. Buckell Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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