It’s always good to receive an email or a message saying nice things about what we do here at Shoreline – brightens up the dark times in which we find ourselves. So when we received this spontaneous review of A Practical Guide to the Resurrected, an anthology of medically inclined science fiction short stories, we were as pleased as a dog in a barrel of biscuits:
My favorite story is Marija Smits’s “His Birth.” It is both powerful and delicate—it manages to ramp up the tension as high as tension can go without the text becoming unbearable to read, and the nuanced conclusion is emotionally very strong.
Second favorite is Dantzel Cherry’s “A Vocabulary of Remorse,” which is clever in its structure and credible in its development. With the “I didn’t get back my voice so I could spend the rest of my life apologizing” line (I paraphrase from memory), it feels like the narrator, who’s been drowning in a spiral of revised apologies, suddenly reaches the bottom, gives a strong kick, and breaks free out of the sea of her fears and doubts and guilt. When I reached that point, I could nearly feel this physical sensation of breaking the surface and taking a deep breath.
Hazel Compton’s “System Stable” manages to make you experience, not just reflect upon, how it would feel to have someone invade your mind. This fear and the resulting obsession with the “System stable” signal are vividly rendered.
Adam Roberts’s “Trademark Bugs: A Legal History” is sizzling smart. Not because of the legalese—though it is very well rendered and, of course, intrinsic to the story—but because of how realistic it is. The author manages to make an “impossible situation” perfectly credible by showing us how, step by step, we creep from here (our world) to there (the world at the end of the story). As you finish reading, you can’t help thinking, Oh God. It could happen, couldn’t it. WILL IT happen?
Gita Ralleigh’s “The Jewel.” Its “I have no no no mind” ending will probably stay with me until the day I die. Or get Alzheimer’s.
Sam Meeking’s “Passengers.” A clever idea efficiently, convincingly conveyed.
Many thanks for this, Pierre-Alexandre Sicart!