"Short Story" Week
continues here on Goodreads
with a pleasing, obscure gem
from the golden age
of science fiction.
Thank you to Karla for pointing me in the direction of this warm and surprisingly emotional tale (not something I normally associate with the pulp era). Overall, I thought this was a high quality effort with some interesting things to say about who we are.
Karla did a wonderful job reviewing this one which you can (and should) see here: Karla’s review. Also, the entire story is available for free at the following link: Bedside Manner.
I really liked the set up of the story as it details the slow, groggy, “just back from oblivion” awakening of Margaret after miraculously surviving the crash of her ship into an asteroid…(at this point, you should have your disbelief suspenders firmly attached so as not to over think that minor set up device.). Turns out that both Margaret and her husband Fred were rescued by an advanced alien survey ship that has the expertise to be able to treat their injuries.
At this point if you did not study the image above and read the clips from the opening, it would be appropriate to do so. Despite the simplistic illustration, I thought the depiction of her in pieces and covering her eyes in grief and terror is wonderful. Along with the opening paragraph, it really grabs you by the attention and pulls you in.
From there the story addresses themes of personal identity and how one’s internal lens often differs dramatically from the outside world’s perception of such person. It also has some intriguing things to say about obsession over personal appearance and the danger of putting too many psychological eggs in that particular basket.
Overall, I thought these themes were pretty well handled.
My one gripe about the tale are that I didn’t particularly care for Margaret. I know that is partially to be expected as she was the delivery system for the story’s message regarding physical insecurities and vanity, but I still found her unlikable enough that it removed some of the suspense from the story. Since I didn’t care much about her, I was not as “edge of my seat” hoping for everything to be okay.
I thought the ending was appropriate and fairly well handled (though I was expecting more of a Twilight Zone zinger) the story handled some pretty importance concepts in a thoughtful and engaging way. Not what I would call pulpy content from this age of pulp.
I nice little story that you should check out. Plus, since it’s short and free the downside is almost nil.
3.0 stars. Recommended
Tags: download, william morrison, ebook, pdf, bedside manner
Download from mirrors