Robert Reed. Dead Man’s Run. (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2010)

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m somewhat less appreciative, as a rule, of Reed’s stories which draw primarily on his daily life, than those in which he gives full sfnal rein to his imagination.

This is a very lengthy look at running – something he has looked at previously. There is a strong sfnal element – a running club whose coach is murdered, have both a Prime Suspect (a fellow runner) and the uploaded backup of their coach available to help them (including through their bluetooth cell phone earpieces).

Having been a runner myself back in the day (ruining two knees in the process), I was able to engage with a lot of the detail in the story about running. But, truth be told, somewhat like a marathon running hitting the infamous wall at about 23 miles, I found myself running low on energy at about halfway, and found myself slowing down. There’s an extended chase sequence in the middle of the story, which rings absolutely true, but felt overlong for me. (Not quite up to the dramatic tension in the novel Marathon Man, which features a taut sequence where the protagonist, having had the dental treatment!, draws the lest vestiges of his strength and his strategy, to outrun the goons with guns).

And I pulled up before the end, deciding that there was no real reason to persevere, and several good reasons to bale out (like being able to start the Richard Bowes story that was next in the issue).

2 thoughts on “Robert Reed. Dead Man’s Run. (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2010)

  1. Sorry to learn that you didn’t like the story. When you have a chance, would you kindly correct the title? (We got it right on the cover. . . . which is not always the case!)

    —Gordon V.G.

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