Thursday, November 21, 2019

Promise Me This Is Ours, by Omar William Sow

[Strange Horizons]

(Dystopia) In a future Senegal that sentences gay people to slave labor in the mines, a young man tries to find a friend he loved. (5,152 words; Time: 17m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 10/21/19, published on .

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

Review: 2019.629 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The oppression of gay people in Africa is very bad, and what’s described in the story is no worse than what many politicians propose in real life.

The ending leaves the awful impression that maybe Mamadou was released (or escaped) and came looking for Abdou but couldn’t find him because Abdou was busy searching the mines.

Con: There seems to be little connection between Abdou’s work on software and his hunt for his missing friend.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. The lack of connection between the two was my first impression. But I thought about it, and they seem more connected in the way they are treated. The VR simulations he creates are designed to help other people relive an idealized past, which is what the oppression is rooted in. His dreams of Mamadou are flavored by his work in these simulations.

    Maybe it's a little thin, but I get the impression the author at least tried to link them.