Thursday, May 2, 2019

Cactus Season, by Frank Smith

★★★☆☆ Average

(SF Dystopia) A man and his daughter struggle to survive in a desert by salvaging parts from fallen satellites. (3,263 words; Time: 10m)

"Cactus Season," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05-06|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.224 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: To a degree, this is a story about Sana growing up a little, albeit not quite coming of age. It’s also a little bit of a survival story.

Con: Sana doesn’t really change all that much, and she never seems to worry enough about her own survival to generate any tension. At the end, their situation is only slightly better than at the start.

Beyond that, it’s really hard to believe that satellites tend to fall more in specific places and during particular seasons.

Something that makes it hard to relate to the characters is that, even without knowing anything about the city, it’s hard not to see Olek’s problems as self-inflicted, and it can’t be good for Sana growing up with zero contact with other children. From everything we see in the story, they really need to pack it up and move to town.

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