I’m afraid Purdom is one of the few authors who appear in Asimovs who I generally don’t enjoy reading. The problems I have with his writing, in terms of being heavy-handed and not very subtle, are in evidence here, in a ‘thriller’ in which a courier is kidnapped and has to see if he can escape his captors through his own resources, and with the help of those outside with whom (rather unbelievably) he remains able to communicate. It’s not a bad captivity, as it’s a Free Love commune in which he is held captive, which means there’s plenty of female company for him to avail himself of. There’s a lot of dialog, and the cardboard characters are moved about to help the plot along, and it is rather a long way short of the quality you normally get in Asimovs.
- Alastair Reynolds. At Budokan. (Shine).
- Rivka Galchen. The Region of Unlikeness. (Years Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2009).