Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Archive for May 25th, 2009

‘Road Kill’ by Joe Haldeman

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I am starting to sound like a stuck a record but again this is a science fiction story with very little interest in science fiction. A mentally-ill serial killer thinks he is an alien and eats the people he murders. This allows Haldeman to indulge in gratuitous torture porn for no reason. His other main character is a bloke called Spencer who is burdened with a preposterous life story that means no one could mistake him for anything other than a character in a story. The paths of these two obviously cross and they do so in a way that suggests staggering authorial laziness.

The shock twist at the end is that the serial killer actually is an alien. Which isn’t really shocking or twisty or any justification for writing this story. Lame.

Quality: *
Shiftiness: *

Written by Martin

25 May 2009 at 11:51

Posted in sf, short stories

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‘Ting-a-Ling’ by Jack Dann

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Marilyn Monroe is having an affair with James Dean; there is no speculation here, only an attempt to trade on the mystique of two Twentieth Century icons. This sort of piggybacking is all too common in science fiction – this was one of the complaints about this year’s shortlist – but it is still a shame to see such a story in a supposedly forwarded looking anthology. Dann actually writes quite well and does a good job of evoking the couple but in the end it is just an exercise in necrophilia.

Quality: **
Shiftiness: *

Written by Martin

25 May 2009 at 11:25

Posted in sf, short stories

Tagged with ,