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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

SCI FICTION, March 16, 2005

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"Hidden Paradise" by Robert Reed

ImageThis week, SCI FICTION brings us a story from Robert Reed, "Hidden Paradise."

Vick is a bored twelve-year-old foisted on his aunt and uncle for the summer by his parents, who are trying to repair their damaged relationship. While there, he meets Sally Ann Jamaica. She is the strange, alluring young woman who comes to Hidden Paradise to perform as an exotic dancer in his uncle's place for a couple of days. Apropos a twelve-year-old boy, Vick becomes fascinated by Sally and the thought of Sally stripping.

"Hidden Paradise" seems to be a statement on living life and the attitudes that lead to the cheapening of life. But I found the present tense writing difficult to read, and I think it reduced the overall effectiveness of the story.