Author: Lore Graham
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Design by London Burden
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/13/2016
Length: Short Story (<15K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Science Fiction, Trans*
Radical views sometimes require committing a crime or two. In his biggest move yet to fight for android rights, Derek liberates a group of androids working off their creation debt at a hospital. One of those androids is 141, who is surprisingly reluctant to leave the facility, leaving Derek baffled.
A delay in their escape forces them to take an alternate route to Derek’s base, trapping them on a decrepit spaceship for a week, where they have only each other for company and a divide created by assumptions and wariness—but also an undeniable curiosity.
Androids as slaves, with two hundred years to work off before they’re granted ‘freedom’ – conditional, of course – and our protagonist is having none of it. This is prooooobably why he’s inside the hospital, looking to truly free the thirty-plus androids working there, risking his life, and others, to do so.
This story starts off with a flash bang, terse and urgent conversation, murder, and such a close call of an escape, my pulse was threatening to hammer away almost as fast as Derek’s. He’s set on revenge, Derek is, and he’s planned for it, for this raid and the subsequent freeing of the android slaves – an oxymoron in this futuristic universe that spreads far beyond Earth – and nothing is going to stop him. Nothing. Nothing’s going to stop his overall mission to take down the company and those who make the androids and laws that govern their existence in every sense.
Well. Nothing except maybe 141. They’re a bit of a pistol as far as androids go.
I’m a sucker for sci-fi that uses itself to comment on today’s social and civil issues, when it’s done well, and without a heavy hand. I also like my sci-fi to not be bogged down by endless world building detail. We get all of this here, especially in terms of gender self-identity. Graham gives us enough sense of place detail to provide both place and time without getting lost in the celestial woods, which helps make way for creating connections to these characters.
Even in this short story, Derek’s character follows an emotional arc as details about his life are revealed, both past and present, like right now. I initially viewed him with a ‘wtf dude?’ kinda smirk which then started to morph into a knowing smile and a direct line to my sometimes overly protected heart.
This story moves along at a good clip, the writing efficient, only dipping its toe into wordy-landia here and there. A few words and phrases are repeated in single sentences or passages, too. Minor blips on the nav-screen of this adventure.
Also? 141 is a smartass after that same heart o’ mine. They’re a great foil to Derek’s rather gruff self. They’re intelligence and healthy sense of self-determination, and logic, irritate Derek. At least at first. I wanted to give them a hi-5. Just ‘cause.
Also? This is hot. drops mic
Oh wait, a few more things: I recommend this gem, I want to read more by this author and about these characters, and I’m off to see if they’ve published anything else.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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