Strange Horizons, March 14, 2016

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Strange Horizons, March 14, 2016

Meltwater” by Benjamin C. Kinney

Reviewed by Jody Dorsett

The author creates a world where much, apparently, has gone wrong. We are introduced to characters that have lived at least 6,000 years. They remember when they had bodies of flesh. But today they split or “fork” themselves into other intelligences that have the same goal. These are not necessarily human bodies, but all have a mind that when rejoined have the memories added.

So all the replicates, one can’t call them clones, at some time add their memories to the original. Here is the rub. Unrequited love of Greta Garbo. Alone in her work her last replicant has died without issue or rejoining. Seeing that, her millennia old lover comes to ask why.

The ending is okay, but we have to re-read the story to find why it’s important. Young writers often eliminate foreshadowing to spring an ending on the reader. It seems wise, tricky and gasp evoking. The problem here is that the reader is not getting all the information that the powerful ending should have had, one must re-read it to get it.