frakalot's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


This rating and review is only for 'One Basket' by C C. Finlay. (Explanation below)

An excellent story, it starts off a bit uneasy but ends up being a whole lot of fun. Alaya's grandmother seems like a no nonsense, pain in the ass but actually she not only means well but turns out to have her own cheeky brand of humour. She gets Alaya all suited up and they step out onto the surface of their asteroid for a little chicken hunt, which turns out to be an egg hunt, but they're not actually looking for eggs and well, it's a secret and I'm not allowed to tell anybody. If you want to know you'll have to find out for yourself. An accident occurs and a dramatic rescue is attempted. The moral of this story is that sometimes there's no other choice than to put all of your eggs in one basket so you'd better learn to take care of the damn basket. 

**While I sort out how I'm going to get a hold of these magazines in Australia without ordering direct from the US and having to pay too much for shipping on every issue, I've decided to check out the stories that are available for free on the podcast. I have some back orders on their way over already and I will add reviews for the other stories when I get a copy to hold.

mj_james_writes's review

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  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A


***Book Review***

Analog March/April 2021
By. Various
P. 208
Format: Print
Rating: **
Before I dig into this magazine, because I plan on digging into it, I want to say that there were some good short stories. There were also some not bad short stories. Unfortunately, there were also some stories that were not great. Including one that I do not understand why it was published.

The editor starts by talking how important it is that science fiction be diverse. Then he puts out a magazine that is not diverse. It lacks a lot of racial identity, there is only some minor LGBTQ+ rep thrown in as a side plot to some characters. There is also a story that is anti-ability. Yep! It called a character the R— word. Oh, but it gets worse. How can it possibly get worse than that? Let me tell you.

First it is important to know that this story is the long epic story of the magazine. It is the centerpiece, if you will. In the story there is a side character with Down Syndrome. The character was introduced like this; “Jean-Eudes was Venus’s only Down Syndrome child.” It was awkward, but I wasn’t sure where this was going so I held on.

Jean-Eudes is one of two siblings left at home. His sole role is to be a babysitter to a younger child, the son of a dead daughter. 

Shortly after the father tells the other son - the one who is ablebodied - “You’re going to have some pretty scars. But no one’s going to doubt you’re a man.” I am now loosing faith in the author. This is all in the first chapter of a nineteen chapter story.

I made it to chapter seven where a side character asks an adult brother who has left home “‘Aren’t you the one with the [R—] brother?’ Rejean laughed.” WTF does that need to be there? The answer is it does not. But it gets even worse. The brother goes on a rant about how the sibling with Down syndrome ruined his life. Because his parents refused to get rid of him the whole family had to move to a dangerous location and ruin their quality of life. I DNF’ed the story here. But I thought there has to be something redeeming about this right? I looked through the rest of the story and saw that Jean-Eudes remained a babysitter and the other brother at home - the one who no one can doubt is a man - became a hero. 

In the editorial the editor wrote that science fiction is “unsurpassed as a tool for exploring social issues. It can loosen up the noise filters of its readers, teaching them to see their own culture in new ways, but only when it accommodates a wide range of voices.” Yet it was clear from the stories chosen and even the letters to the editor printed that Analog wants to tell the story of the straight white man. It was to continue to perpetuate the myth that having a disability is just a drain without any way of contributing to society. It is a view that will invalidate the contribution of authors who are disabled/differently abled such as Fran Wilde, Octavia E Buttler, Mishelle Baker, Nisi Shawl, and many others. 

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