Monday, January 11, 2010

Act One

Novella by Nancy Kress

This has now been nominated for both the Nebula and Hugo. I went back to see why I didn't like it, because I couldn't remember anything besides there being a dwarf and some genetic terrorists. On second thought, that is reason enough for it not to win awards.

This one is going to join Gunfight on Farside as a good story that I liked, but not nearly as much as internet/reviewer/best-of-collection-editor consensus indicates I should. 3 out of 5.

The strange thing is I can't really identify why. The protagonist, Barry, is an excellent, well drawn character. Imagine Toby Zeigler washing out of politics and deciding to become an actress's manager. Also he's a dwarf and has to think about genetic modifications and free will.

I love this sort of character, I love genetics, the ethical issues brought up by the story are important,
every character is excellent, the plot is plausible yet surprising. The only complaint I can come up with is that the ending is maybe wrapped up a bit too fast, but I see no good way to make it longer, and it does make you think. There is really nothing wrong here, but I didn't love it, I only liked it. Kress is an excellent writer, and you can certainly see that in this story, yet it lacks the punch it ought to have for me.

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