Sarah Pinsker. Songs in the key of you. (Asimovs January 2015)

asimovs1501A story featuring teen bullying, which appear fairly regularly in Asimovs (sounds like there’s scope for a research project into childhood bullying of adults who go on to be SF writers).

Why not workplace bullying? After all, assuming most of Asimov’s readers are adults, surely we’d engage more with adults being bullied? The school bullying is easy to write, the ethnography of it is so well established (classrooms, lockers, best friends, bitchy enemies, lonely bedrooms, yadder yadder yadder).

So here we have a young teenage girl being bullied (she’s poor and lacks the latest tech wizardry), but she has a talent (hooray), and a friend in a surprising place (gosh). It’s fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far, and writers like Jacqueline Wilson are doing far more in-depth stuff about bullying, writing for kids (ref Tracy Beaker).

There’s plenty to be mined in SF in terms of technology have/have not’s, but this is barely breaking the surface.

More from this issue here.

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