“The Truffles of Mars” by Jeremy Lichtman
Reviewed by Jason McGregor
Of the four stories in this issue, only “The Truffles of Mars” is billed as being speculative. This minor tale depicts efforts to acquire mushrooms so a chef can make an omelet on Mars and aims to end with ironic humor.
Though only 871 words, this has four scenes, all of which have problems. The first scene is confusing, as it has the chef Anton Antov speaking the opening line and seemingly being answered by a man introduced as “the manager” (and then “Sardar”) though Antov is not actually present and the opening conversation is between Sardar and the sous chef, Raul. The final three scenes are overpopulated, under-described, and partly irrelevant. The second scene introduces an excess assistant chef Nisha, who actually does converse with Anton, but Anton isn’t placed anywhere and merely speaks on his phone from a void. The third scene introduces and discards “the farmer” while Raul tries to borrow a pig. The fourth scene finally brings Nisha, Raul, and Anton together, with a solution which has nothing to do with a pig.
More of Jason McGregor’s reviews can be found at Featured Futures.