Saturday, July 27, 2019

Verum, by Storm Humbert

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(SF Adventure) The narrator has turned Verum from a drug into sophisticated entertainment but faces a challenge from a young competitor whose Verum dreams are much more vivid. (7,748 words; Time: 25m)

"Verum," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 282, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.405 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: I liked the idea of a drug that could give the user real experiences and that artists could use it as a medium. The conflict between Gina and the narrator drives the plot in a reasonable way, and much of the tension in the story comes from us wondering whether the narrator is going to try to cheat or even harm Gina. (Or vice versa.)

Con: The story feels like it ought to deliver an emotional punch, but it never does for some reason. That could be because we learn nothing at all about the narrator except that he/she is middle-aged, or it could be because this is essentially the story of two drug dealers. It didn’t help that I guessed that Gina was dying very early on.

A minor nit: I think the requirement that you put a needle through the back of your head into your brain would reduce the target market to zero.

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Storm Humbert Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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