beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I have a vague impression of vaguely liking F&SF, or at worst being uninterested in a particular story.
But when I add up my opinions story by story I turn out to have not quite liked a lot.


Witch's Hour, by Shannon Connor Winward.
Trigger warnings, rape and abuse and not even getting away from it by killing the dude because ghosts.
That one was unpleasant.
It also a bit didn't make sense, because who tastes random stinky foul tasting things in strange cauldrons in the small hours? Cauldrons need cleaned and rats need poisoned and really, that just seems... too stupid.
But I maybe mostly complain because really, abuser being dead should be sufficient to get away
and I strongly dislike how she does evil and gets bad consequences for trying to get rid of his ghost.
Just... wrong.

Dirty Old Town, Richard Bowes
Didn't really connect with the narrator, not my kind of thing.

The Prognosticant, Matthew Hughes
Things happen to this guy and he makes clever choices that achieve goals.
And if any emotions happen I missed them.
Story with no feels, didn't connect, not my sort of thing.

My English Name, R. S. Benedict
Story about someone pretending to be an ill, gay, human, when they're actually not human at all and just too fragile to touch and not able to fake the physicality of relationships.
They fall in love, but it all ends in screaming horror when their disguise falls off.
Honestly I'm not sure if this bothers me or just seems like a relatable human story.
It's also about being white in China because China likes fakes and English speaking white people there are all pretending to be something they're not anyway.
Uncomfortable, but in the story works.
So I don't know what to think of it really.
But it creates feelings.
But I don't like it.

A Thousand Deaths Through Flesh And Stone, Brian Trent
Uploads and backup copies, with as many new bodies as they please.
Because that action hero dude doing One Last Job becomes a renewable resource if you've got a backup copy.
Liked the idea, not a huge fan of messy violence, except it's about the way said cycle of violence gets endless if you Never Forget but never move on at all. Which the dude doesn't even have time to do. Because he forgets everything except the war. And with unlimited reloads and multiple simultaneous copies you can fit a lot of logically endless war into two persons. It packs a lot of emotion and ideas into a long fight sequence.

The History of the Invasion Told In Five Dogs, Kelly Jennings
Sad post apocalyptic thing with very little hope, told through bad things happening to dogs.
Effective angle.
Don't like the whole post apoc despair thing.

What The Hands Know, Gregor Hartmann
Fight club story, therefore boring and instantly forgotten.
Tries to do worldbuilding and politics and hint at wider conflict through one man's experience
but that one man isn't someone whose head I find interesting.

The Woman With The Long Black Hair, Zach Shephard
Skillfully written, plausibly characterised, achieved its goal, just did a bunch of bad things to characters to do so. So I didn't like it.

The First Day Of Someone Else's Life, John Schoffstall
Frenetic mix of almost intelligible strangeness of near future weird social evolution
through a guy whose deal I guessed pretty much from the get go
but he didn't even at the end.
Upload with amnesia and undercover operative with amnesia and be careful who we pretend to be for we are who we pretend to be.
I had a weird feeling like the f&sf elements weren't much value added to this one, even though it's a world built on tech and memetic developments and a plot that couldn't happen without tech. Just... spy stuff, future iterations.
Also, what is so weird about dreaming as someone else? Doesn't everyone? Why would that be the plot point that helps him unravel everything?
eh.
didn't quite work for me, but I can't see why.

Neko Brushes, Leah Cypess
Boy can paint so good it comes to life. Simples story with magic cats, and also samurai and politics and twists.
I liked.

Rings, Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Okay, but, why do we need a story about women taking men as slaves to breed from?
I mean, worldbuilding, characters, feelings, certainly a lot of women but why?
If it's to illustrate the stupidity of writing off half the human race I can think of a bazillion better ways.



... I feel bad saying didn't like so often, I mean stuff like I'd rather read things that left me in a better mood than I started, but all these certainly packed plenty of characters and ideas into decently written stories.

I don't know.

If I'm not looking for these, what am I looking for?

... more women that are less evil, and a sense that problems can in fact be solved, preferably by teamwork and application of intelligence.

... and yet the one that is all guy solves problems by application of intelligence doesn't work for me at all. So, also, feels. Emotional arcs. Becoming.

I don't know. Like this but not this.



Shall see if next month.

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
beccaelizabeth

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