Chris Beckett. Two Thieves. (Asimovs, January 2011).

Interesting story from Beckett. Interesting in the sense of deciding to read it twice as I was left with a sense of having missed something important in the story.

Two thieves have been arrested after their gang attempted a raid on a jeweller’s shop. The language of the thieves, and the society in which they live, has a feel for mid-20thC USA. However, they’ve got slightly unusual names, and as we find when they visit a penal colony called The Last Resort, their history includes an older, lost civilization with technology beyond their ken.

Soon enough they thieves find themselves in a position to test this technology, hopping into a pool that takes them to … another world. On this barren planet they find a similar route to another world, much more like the one they came from. In between their travels, one of the thieves spends time sitting in a chair that gives him pause for thought. We don’t know exactly what he thought, although we get altogether too much information about the consequences of his colleague’s rectal hiding of the diamonds they plan to take with them.

The tone of their banter is light-hearted, and they are an altogether unpleasant pair, and it’s difficult to see exactly what the intention of the story is.

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