Katie Boyer. Bartleby the Scavenger. (Fantasy and Science Fiction, May/June 2014)

fsf040506In F&SF, with its strong fantasy focus, you might see a title such as ‘Bartleby the Scavenger’ and think you’re in for medieval type fantasy. Far from it.

Boyer provides a bleak, near-future, post-apocalyptic scenario, with the narrator having had the role of scavenging in the city ruins to find valuable items for the tight-knit community of survivors, led by a Mayor. And in the use of ‘having had’ we have the crux of the story, as he relates how he is now no longer a productive member of the community, partly due to the (in)action of his erstwhile work colleague, Bartleby. The Elder Care Panel has made its decision on their future….

It’s a lengthy story, and keeps the reader’s attention throughout.

More from this issue here.

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