Monday, September 9, 2019

Dave's Head, by Suzanne Palmer

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Dystopia) Cassie takes her hallucinating uncle and a needy animatronic dinosaur head on a road trip through the suburbs of a decaying city. (8,096 words; Time: 26m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 156, published on .

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

Review: 2019.502 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The strength of this story is the characters. Cassie, Dave, and even Uncle Marty. The dialog between Cassie and Dave is almost enough to recommend the story all by itself.

There are plenty of laughs here. My favorite is
“Awesomesauce!” Dave answers, which, really, is a weird thing to hear from a giant detached theme-park dinosaur head, but at some point you just let the weirdness own you and go with it.

Con: The story doesn’t go anywhere. It introduces us to some characters and to the setting, but that’s about it. We never even find out what’s in the mysterious package.

And the setting is a slightly ridiculous dystopia where everything is falling apart except for the most advanced technology (all of which works just fine). Just as the setting is a kind of cardboard villain, Ted, Cassie’s dad, is a real cardboard villain. And it’s kind of silly that people are running around doing the bidding of a dinosaur head.

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5 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. We deleted a comment that violated our guidelines. (It was uncivil.)

    It did identify an error in the review: I somehow wrote "boss" instead of "dad." Ted was Cassie's dad, not her boss.

  2. This was very fun. The package contains some sort of nanotech. No clue beyond that. Would love to see more adventures of Dave and Cassie.

    1. Yeah, it seems to set us up for their adventures without actually taking us on a significant one.

    2. I don't know, keeping Mom's nanobots from mobster Dad seems like it could be significant. Particularly since Mom was apparantly killed for whatever she was trying to do. Definitely seems like there's more story to tell.

  3. I loved this story; It was fun, interesting and well written..... I loved that one of the comments criticized the element of the mysterious package not being revealed, cmon, that sort of element adds to a short story like this! Great read, thanks Suzanne Palmer!