Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Empty Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee

★★★★☆ Entertaining and Moving

(Space Opera) Kestre seeks revenge for her slaughtered kin, and she has a very special weapon to do it with, although it has a problem she doesn’t know about. (7,213 words; Time: 24m)

"The Empty Gun," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.457 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The story gets right off to great start, as Kestre has to use the gun to defend herself and inadvertently learns something about how it works. Or thinks she does. As her use of it escalates, we learn more and more about her, and when we finally get the revelation about how the gun truly functions, we’re not at all surprised that she decides to destroy it.

A big part of the story is the relationship between her and her AI. By the end of the tale, we love both of them, and it’s a big emotional rush to realize they’re free of the crime of killing all those people, free of the need for revenge, and ready to have their own adventures.

Con: A few things don’t seem to add up. First, it’s hard to believe she bought the gun without even test firing it. Second, even if it did fetch bullets from the past, there are so many bullets fired that it seems very unlikely that it just happened to fetch the ones that killed those aliens. And how did the AI know that destroying the gun would magically undo everything it had done?

Other Reviews: Search Web,
Yoon Ha Lee Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Reprinted at Lightspeed 130 (Mar 2021):