Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Random Reviewlet 4

A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad, published in Clarkesworld.

Warning: some spoilers may be ahead.

A specialist in forging foodstuffs gets a new client.

I love the founding concept of this story - that food can be printed to order, and people are willing to forge types of food so they don't look like they've been printed. Even better, this particular food is being made from cloned cells, so it's really the same food - just not from living animals. Honestly, I find the idea of printed cloned meat being so much cheaper that people claim it's the "real" stuff to be very hopeful for the future.

As for the story, it starts out as a standard blackmail type tale, then twists into a buddy film sort of thing. I love it. Honestly, the concept alone was great, but after Lily comes on board and Helena has someone to help her, I'm just happy with the whole thing. The characters are both great, with Helena's world-weariness more than offset by Lily's checkered history and happiness with herself.

The way the issue is resolved also makes me happy. I spent a little time squeeing at the totally obnoxious trick, which was kinder than the victim deserved. I would probably write a lot more about this story if I disliked it, but I really did enjoy it, so I guess this is enough.

Conclusion: A fun little story that does a great job world-building.