“Irregularity” by Rachel Harrison
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
The latest issue of this on-line magazine offers a novelette and two short stories for the enjoyment of its readers.
The longest work of fiction this month is “Irregularity” by Rachel Harrison. The setting is a space station deep in the solar system. The protagonist’s job is to watch for any signs of the hostile aliens who attacked Earth in the recent past. When he picks up a mysterious signal that has something to do with his past, he must solve the mystery and face the truth about himself. The story holds the reader’s interest, but many will find the main character too self-pitying.
“A Priest of Vast and Distant Places” by Cassandra Khaw takes place in a fantastic version of the modern world. Airplanes are intelligent beings. The protagonist is one of the so-called priests who accompany these sentient machines. Her function is to listen to them and serve as friend and companion. She rejects the luxurious life of a full-time priest because she would no longer be able to visit her family. This is a pleasant character study and mood piece, although there is almost no plot.
Set late in this century, “We Are New(s)” by Bentley A. Reese takes place in a cyberpunk version of London. A young woman and a young man meet and begin a tentative romance. Unknown to them, they are under constant observation by entities whose only motive is to make events “interesting.” To give anything else away would spoil the impact of this dense and intense story, a razor-sharp satire of the way in which social media can manipulate events.
Victoria Silverwolf no longer has a gall bladder.