Clarkesworld #66, March 2012

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Clarkesworld #66, March 2012

“Sunlight Society” by Margaret Ronald
“The Bells of Subsidence” by Michael John Grist
“From their paws, we shall inherit” by Gary Kloster

Reviewed by Bob Leishman

There are good guys and there are bad guys and then there are what we call “adult situations.”  In “Sunlight Society” Margaret Ronald‘s narrator, Carson, is a man with a hidden agenda who ends up among the good guys.

Carson could be a modern hero.  He’s wired for the web, the kind of guy you call when your system’s threatened.  Ronald does some worthwhile character development here which makes the story worthwhile.

To subside is to settle, or to sink to a lower level, to become less agitated.  As societies or empires decline their members are still called on to sacrifice as part of a glorious tradition.  Aliqa, a very young girl, has been chosen to go with the Bell, the Bell that comes along only once in a generation.  With others from her planet she will power the Bell and make its journey possible.  But what is the mission?

Michael John Grist, in “The Bells of Subsidence,” examines the loss of identity through the technology and the mission, the endless journey of Aliqa that was mandated by an empire which she never really understood.  How the journey or the mission ends will become the problem for Aliqa to solve.  This one is not really my cup of tea.

“From their paws, we shall inherit” by Gary Kloster is set along the Gulf Coast of the United States.  The story opens out at sea on a boat belonging to a young man named Cesar out of South Padre.

All things considered Cesar is living in a post apocalyptic America, meaning that in the grand scheme of things living there ain’t what it ought to, or used to, be.  But, things may be looking up for Cesar.  Early in the story he has an encounter with the US Coast Guard which turns out better for him than it should have, due largely to a new friend he’s made while at sea.

I have a weakness for post apocalyptic stories set along the gulf coast.  So enjoy.