Kathryn - Kat - Allen (katallen) wrote,
Kathryn - Kat - Allen
katallen

Best of Apex Magazine - review #12 - Keep Talking by Marie Vibbert

Seriously, a ray of sunshine in here would be appreciated...


THERE MAY BE SPOILERS - WORSE THERE MAY BE THINGS SAID WHICH SPOIL THE STORY - I WOULD SUGGEST READING IT FIRST AT


http://www.apex-magazine.com/keep-talking/


Keep Talking by Marie Vibbert


But wait, isn't this a good story because it ends with Sarah getting her own job offer? (Given that the job she wants a) exists and b) she can hold on to it since Miranda was pretty helpful in the current translation and I'm presuming this will be about further translation of possible subsequent messages, which could dry up shortly due to the extinction event).

Only this is Gerald's story. I know it might seem like Sarah's because that's where all the SFF action is, but it's about a parent and his relationship with his child and the end is that somehow (almost magically) he and his daughter will be parted, and she may not have the emotional capability to find her way back to him.

There's no path that doesn't end in goodbye, and to emphasise that the doomed/already dead aliens are dancing behind his realisation...

I won't say the story doesn't grab, that the alien message isn't providing a thread of story and an alternative climax to the other story, the one in which Gerald tries to change his life and will probably fail, pull back, because he loves his daughter too much to leave. And in part I think there's an unfairness in the story that implies he might be clinging too tightly. As if somehow the events of the alien story and Sarah, with help from Miranda, being able to translate it, was predictable, was a demonstration of generalised genius not a problem Sarah solved as much by good fortune as her one particular trick that may not have a further application...

The aliens are the background. To a story in which Gerald is flailing and failing, and dancing towards a goodbye.

Like we all do.
Tags: #12, apex, review, short fiction
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