Malcolm Devlin. Must Supply Own Work Boots. (Interzone #255 Nov-Dec 2014)

interzone255Only the second published story from Devlin, not that you’d have any idea from reading it.

The title refers to building sites, and Devlin evokes (for me at least, with my British North East roots) folk memories of skilled labour heading off to the shipbuilding yards, with the ships towering above the terraced houses of the town.

His protagonist though is heading to a massive spaceship, and he is envious of the men and women swarming over the ship’s hull, their Mark IV exo-rigs a quantum leap beyond the Mark III that his clunky and far less discreet bodymods equip him for. The pace of progress is leaving him behind, and he has to decide what to do – upgrade to Mark IV at a great cost, or head off to the junkyards where there is still a demand for Mark III reg-equipped workers.

Devlin handles the story well, with only conversation and inner thoughts to progress the narrative, which is never easy, and captures the characters well.

More from this issue here.

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