Sunday, February 9, 2020

How Quini the Squid Misplaced His Klobučar, by Rich Larson

★★★★☆ Non-stop Thrills, Chills, and Excitement.

(SF Thriller) The narrator and a friend plot to steal a valuable artwork from an underworld boss who’s pissed them off. (11,417 words; Time: 38m)

Recommended By: 👍GTognetti+1 👍STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

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

Review: 2020.070 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: To understand the story, it helps to realize that the nameless narrator is a trans woman just beginning to transition. Everyone but Quini sees her as male.

The best thing about this story is the tension. Once the caper gets going, almost every event ups the tension, starting with the worry that the narrator’s hormone treatments are interfering with the simulation-related drugs, causing her to think she’s in a simulation not real life.

The revelation that Quini was missing an arm and that Yinka would have to sacrifice his own arm was chilling—but not as chilling as the scene where Quini announces he’s going to amputate every limb from the protagonist.

I loved the twist that Anton was ready to steal the art and let Quini die, so I wasn’t ready for the double twist that Yinka had kept the art to himself.

Con: Everyone in the story is a bad guy, so it was hard to root for anyone except maybe Yinka. The narrator is “ungrounded” (the author tells us almost nothing about her appearance), which makes her harder to relate to.

Other Reviews: Search Web
Rich Larson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I agree with the rating. Worth reading for award purposes. I enjoyed the story. It held my attention.