Artemisin reviews Apex Digest #9

Artemisin reviews Apex Digest Number 9 and has this to say about “Locked In.”

Mary Robinette Kowal has a sick mind and Locked In, one of the shortest stories of this issue, is also the one I’ve found most terrifying so far. It’s another medical dystopia about a paralyzed man who cannot communicate with the outside world. When his family finds a way to get through to him, the result isn’t what he imagined.

Is something wrong with me that I think being told that I have a sick mind is a compliment?

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11 thoughts on “Artemisin reviews Apex Digest #9”

  1. I’d describe that story more as disturbing than sick. I actually think it could have had a bit more dramatic tension because I knew how it would end about a half-way through the story. As a reader, I didn’t feel the POV character’s fear and helplessness as much as I hoped, and there was no anger at all from the victim at his son for jumping to the conclusion that the hardware always gave the right answer without testing it out on things like ‘is my shirt blue?’

    Sorry, I wasn’t intending ever to critique the story, but eh…

  2. I once commented to an editor that I had a sick mind and he said “You certainly do, and I love it!”-and bought my story. So don’t knock it! 😉

  3. I actually think it could have had a bit more dramatic tension because I knew how it would end about a half-way through the story.

    Hiding the ending isn’t what creates dramatic tension, Rick. You should know that. But critiquing a story unasked can.

    Congrats, Mary, on the compliment. It fits! ;D

  4. I never said I didn’t like the story, nor did I suggest hiding anything. We’re talking about a reviewer calling the author sick.

    The character’s fear didn’t connect with me, and he seemed to accept the situation so casually, as if it wasn’thappening to him. The author is not feeding babies to wolves or slicing people with a bandsaw. That’s sick, and that’s why I said the story is more disturbing than sick. It’s too subtle and clean to be sick.

    My earlier post devolved into soemthing critique-like, but I really was trying to support my statement.

  5. Sick. Disturbed. Twisted. Sexy. All are adequate adjectives describing MRK.

    Mega-talanted, oh yes.

    And in the context of the review, “sick” was being applied as a compliment. Not such a bad compliment for a sci-horror piece.

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