Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Under the Red Sun

A fairly loving review of my novelette 'Under the Red Sun' in Fantasy Magazine #4 on Tangent Online:

"Under the Red Sun" by Ben Peek is the longest story of the issue. It's also my favorite. Peek paints a world where sicknesses are rife and take anyone without warning. But people can live forever if they want to: all they have to do is go to a Surgeon, and they'll have their sick, corrupted body replaced with a new one, a body partly moved by metal and electricity. They become the Returned. Of course, there is now a growing trade for unspoiled bodies to feed the Surgeons' cliniques. The narrator has just buried his sister Fiona at his mother's request. But before they can get back to the tomb and burn the body, Fiona's corpse is stolen.

There is much to love here. The world is perfectly drawn—creepy, hopeless, grimy. The Surgeons, barely hinted at in the beginning, begin to take on shape as we grow to understand how the society keeps itself from falling apart, one day at at a time. The characters are vivid, well fleshed out, hints of their relationships enough to make them deep without losing too much time in backstory. And the mystery draws to a satisfying yet surprising conclusion, leaving the narrator face-to-face with a credible dilemma. I cannot recommend this enough. Yes, it's long, but well worth the time.

You can't buy issue 4 yet, I don't think, but you can pre-order it from Clarkesworld if you're into that sort of thing. The issue has Hal Duncan, Stephanie Campisi, Kaaron Warren, and others in it as well.
Tags: review

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