Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Monster, by Naomi Kritzer

★★★★★ Overwhelming

(SF Thriller) Cecily goes in search of her highschool best friend, who seems to have hidden in China where he’s using her research to try to create enhanced human beings. (10,936 words; Time: 36m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 160, published on .

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

Review: 2020.031 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: We have a couple of stories here. First, of course is Cecily’s search for Andrew. Remember that he’s of Chinese descent, so China is a good place for him to hide. It takes a while before we learn why she’s looking for him, though.

Separately, we get the story of Cecily’s teenage years, which makes it clear just why Andrew means so much to her. And why she was so happy to get in touch with him after 20 years of silence. And why she was so devastated to learn from the FBI what he did.

So when she finally meets him and confronts him, the result is shattering. She does what she has to do—that makes logical sense given what sort of person she is—but it clearly hurts her terribly.

Of small interest: From the fact that Cecily and her friends watched Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) in high school, we can figure she’s about 40 years old in this story.

Con: Once you know something is possible, it’s a lot easier to do it. It’s not clear that Cecily is really going to be able to keep this from the government, even if they believe her.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I agree with the rating and the review. Well worth reading for award purposes. The place this story is set in is real. Just enter in the Chinese place names and do a Google search. There are pictures of the ethnic costumes that are worn at the tourist centre on the internet if you are puzzled by the descriptions in the story.