Saturday, June 29, 2019

Finnegan, Bring the Pain, by Joe M. McDermott

★★★★★ Hard-Hitting Tale of Different Kinds of Loss

(Literary SF) A group of rowdy teens hold a going-away party for a friend whose family is leaving for Alpha Centauri forever. (4,767 words; Time: 15m)

"Finnegan, Bring the Pain," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 07-08|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.365 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: What’s striking about this story is that it’s set in a rich, successful future but it focuses on a group of people who don’t share in that success. Finnegan is already a failure at 15 or 16, and he’s resigned to it. Wind always knew she’d have a better future, and it was always fated that they’d live very different lives, but the one-way trip to Alpha Centauri makes as sharp a dividing line as death itself.

Finnegan isn’t a very likable character, yet the story makes us feel his pain to such an extent that we’re moved despite ourselves. The fear that he might do something to Wind to keep her from going adds a good bit of tension to the story, which is quite remarkable for a story with a literary plot.

As far as plot goes, it’s really about Finnegan trying to keep Wind here, or at least keep a part of her. In the end, even though he can’t talk to her in cryosleep, and he’s lost the VR equipment that would let him see the record they made that last night, she still haunts his soul. He dreams of her, and he imagines she’s somewhere around the corner waiting for him. He really did succeed in keeping a part of her, in a painful, hopeless, way.

Con: The story drags in the middle.

Other Reviews: Search Web
Joe M. McDermott Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)