Tor.com, February 2018
“Where Would You Be Now?” by Carrie Vaughn
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
Four dark visions fill the electronic pages of Tor.com this month.
An unspecified disaster leads to the breakdown of technological society in “Where Would You Be Now?” by Carrie Vaughn. A group of survivors establish a medical clinic, defending against marauders with weapons and a barricade. The plot is episodic, as the protagonist encounters a wide variety of victims, allies, and potential enemies. Although the lack of a central story may be a weakness, this apocalyptic tale is very realistic and plausible.
Set in the popular Wild Cards universe of mutants and superheroes, “Evernight” by Victor Milán features a woman who can create impenetrable darkness. She descends beneath the city of Paris, into a realm of mutants who have escaped persecution, in search of her brother. Her adventures involve the very strange leader of the mutants and a sadistic anti-terrorist agent with a deadly superpower. Written with the mood of a horror story, this fast-paced adventure may be too violent for some readers.
The narrator of “You Know How the Story Goes” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt begins by relating a familiar urban legend of a ghostly hitchhiker. He then reveals his own supernatural experience when he was a hitchhiker. Although the author has a vivid imagination, this is a typical horror story, and lacks a full resolution.
“Breakwater” by Simon Bestwick takes place aboard an undersea research station converted into a military station after unknown inhabitants of the ocean respond to human pollution of their home with violent attacks. The civilian who designed the station has the duty to attempt communication with the enemy. When the station is nearly destroyed, her struggle for survival leads to an unexpected encounter. Although this is a war story, much of the plot involves romance, which seems somewhat out of place.
Victoria Silverwolf was born in February.