Strange Horizons — October 21, 2019

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Strange Horizons, October 21, 2019

“Promise Me This Is Ours” by Omar William Sow

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

“Promise Me This Is Ours” by Omar William Sow takes place in Dakar, Senegal, in the year 2073. The city is a mixture of advanced technology and poverty, with a repressive government. The narrator is a young man who designs virtual reality programs. His lover was sent away to work in a mine because of his homosexuality. With the help of a cousin, who lost her own female lover, he journeys to their former meeting place, in hope of finding him.

The story is difficult to follow, due to the author’s use of multiple flashbacks, virtual reality scenarios, and a dream sequence. The futuristic setting is richly imagined, but almost entirely irrelevant to the simple plot, which could take place in the present day. To appreciate this emotional tale fully, one must read it twice. The opening scene, for example, is incomprehensible until the end.

Victoria Silverwolf photocopied some crossword puzzles tonight.