Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Rena in the Desert, by Lia Swope Mitchell

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Apocalypse) In a broken USA, a woman fleeing oppression finds an automated hotel still operating in the middle of the desert. (5,981 words; Time: 19m)

"Rena in the Desert," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 03-04|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.120 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The eerie quiet quasi-familiar setting of a motel in the middle of nowhere adds quite a bit of tension because we’re sure something bad is about to happen—we just don’t know what. We also know that quite a few bad things have already happened, and the eastern part of the US is ruined and impoverished, ruled by a tyrannical government.

Con: The rescue of Josh and Adela doesn’t really require any cleverness—just a measure of trust. Nor does Rena seem much changed by the experience. And we never do find out what happened to Adela’s parents.

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