jeffsoesbe (jeffsoesbe) wrote,

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Comment: Asimov's July 2007

Another solid issue, with a strong cast of big names (Kress, Stableford, Reed, Swanick). It turned out that my favorite stories were actually by the (relative) newbies.

The novelette "The Sky is Large and the Earth is Small" by Chris Robertson was an interesting story, set in in a Asian kingdom (the Celestial Empire). It concerns a political prisoner and a state examiner sent to get information from the prisoner about a mysterious kingdom across the waters. The two form a complicated relationship where each ends up giving the other something to get what they want. I rather liked the setting, the formal writing style, the prickly relationship of the characters, and the end result.

My favorite story was the short story "Bullet Dance" by John Schoffstall. It was about a young girl, the daughter of an ambassador to a foreign country, who learns from ghosts how to "bullet dance" (essentially, dance and dodge bullets). This knowledge comes in use years later when her family is attacked by armed assailants. By all rights, I shouldn't have liked this story because the construction is rather obvious (she's learning to bullet dance, of course she's going to use it). But the main character, the dreamy style of the story and the ever-present emotion made a real impression on me and it ended up as my favorite story of the issue.
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