David Moles. Seven Cities of Gold. (The Year’s Best Science Fiction 28th Annual Collection)

Originally in: Seven Cities of Gold (PS Publishing)

Dozois notes in his introduction that this is an alternate history, taking us on a Heart of Darkness journey. I haven’t read the novel, but one of the few drawbacks in the excellent novella, published as a chapbook by PS Publishing, is that is does stay very close to the narrative, and in the feel, dialogue, and set-piece scenes, of Apocalypse Now.

It’s a complicated story, dense, and one that would benefit from re-reading, and from, it would appear, courtesy of a quick google, also having the original chapbook as the introduction in that (according to an excellent review in Strange Horizons, to which I would refer you to read, sets out some of the background on which the premise is set.

Suffice to say that the protagonist is an opiate-addicted Japanese military doctor, sent on a mission, that takes her and her radidly diminishing crew up the Mississipi, in a post-Katrina, war-torn north America. The finale, in a version of Disneyworld, is excellent. Alongside his ‘A Soldier of the City’ published last year in the ‘Engineering Infinity’ anthology (review a pair of very strong stories from Moles.

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