Saturday, July 9, 2011
Novelette by Tim Pratt
An Escape Pod original, text and audio free online
Randy has the ability to teleport anywhere in the universe, but she doesn't get much use of it because of her uber-vigilant mother, and not having enough free time with school and teen drama. But her best friend Jenny needs her help, and Randy gives it willingly. The mini-adventure forms a small fraction of the story, most of it being emotional aftermath of Randy's being manipulated, and some big revelations about Jenny's home life. A story about the power of friendship, and the relative uselessness of superpowers.
What I like most is that the whole story is aftermath of some big coming-of-age adventure Randy had, that she mostly laughs off, but gives us enough background for an interesting backstory. I'm aware that Pratt actually wrote a book about this material, but he gave us enough of it here that I almost like it better as story background than actual fiction. But I haven't read it. More importantly, I don't need to in order to enjoy the story.
I also really like Jenny's actual problem. It is much more significant than things first appear, and something I like seeing addressed in what amounts to Young Adult fiction. The story was exciting, but still emotional and thoughtful. Randy is a very good friend but still very much a teenage girl. This is a fun story.
4 teleporting teenagers out of 5.