Post July 04, 2018, 12:07:11 AM

Augmented

"Even a gilded cage is still a cage"

This is classic science fiction in the tradition of Wells and Asimov--or more recently, Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. It's a haunting work, superbly written, that leaves you a little off-balance until you wade into the story and figure out the "catch." I love the quote above, as it reminds us that everything has a price, and in the world, the have-nots only have the choice of a slightly prettier cage to wait out their inevitable doom. The ending really pulls the rug out from under our feet, and ends on a very somber, but thoughtful note. Hard to write about this story without giving too much away (not sure if anyone is worried about spoilers), but I thought this read like something I could see in Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. Hope to read more of Ismael Soledad's work soon, and appreciate Aphelion for introducing it to me at last.

I also wanted to mention how the strong pacing of this story. It really drops the breadcrumbs slowly, piece by piece, until the entire story comes into focus. The short paragraphs and the sections breaks only add to this effect. I think it's a textbook example of how to pace and add suspense in only a handful of pages.