Grace's Family: A OriginalGrace’s Family: A Original by James Patrick Kelly
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

“Isn’t there some kind of plan?”

Orisa shook her head. “No plan except to keep going. Random choice perfectly acceptable.”

perfectly acceptable.

it’s not often that i have nothing to say about something i’ve read, even something as brief as one of these free tor shorts. but with this one, i got nothing. it’s true that it is outside my usual reading preference—outer space and bots and artificial intelligence, oh my! but beyond that superficial explanation (because i have enjoyed a few stories with those components before, here and there), the story itself didn’t make an impression on me at all. it’s not poorly written—that would have left an impression. it’s not that i didn’t “get” it. it just left me with literally no reaction. last night i was hungry, but it was too hot to go outside and i was too lethargic to be creative with my pantry’s contents, so i ended up shoving some plain bread in my face just to hold up my end of the bargain i have made with my body to keep karen alive. once the hunger pangs were quelled, i had no memory of even eating that bread. that’s how i felt after reading this story; the fulfillment of a self-imposed task: i have read my free tor short for the week. blink. now what?

i read a free tor short every week, and have been doing so for a few years now. they haven’t been posting as many new ones week-to-week as they used to, and some of them have been removed over the years, so there are fewer options from which to choose, since i refuse to read stories that are connected to a series i haven’t read. so i’ve been going outside of my comfort zone on these for a while, and sometimes they pleasantly surprise me, sometimes they confirm what i know about my own tastes, and very rarely, i emerge from my reading like this—flat as distilled water, beige as hotel art, unsullied as teflon &etc.

other readers may love this story. other readers may hate this story.
me, i’m as blank as can be.

three “perfectly acceptable” stars cats.

read it for yourself here:…

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