Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Prisoner 374215 by Angel Martinez

Title: Prisoner 374215
Author: Angel Martinez
Buy at Mischief Corner Books

Purchase at All Romance eBooks (Free, go for it!)
Cover Art: Freddy MacKay
Genre: Short story, science fiction
Length: 10500 words
Formats: mobi, epub, pdf

While the cell is sparse and cold, at least this one has a bed. The figure resting there is too thin; too still, the prominent bones the result of long starvation, the stillness the product of too much anguish and abuse. He watches, though. An anxious, intelligent mind still occupies this frail and failing body, one that watches and wonders about the new guard occupying his cell each night.


This fine story is my gateway to the writing of Angel Martinez, and I guess I just must be the last one to know. Turns out the story placed second in shorts at the Rainbow Reviews in 2013, and it deserves the award.

The story starts grim, and the abuse theme warning is certainly appropriate. This is science fiction with a gay character, not a romance. As science fiction, it stands up to the best I’ve read recently for atmosphere and for worldbuilding. The nameless prisoner dares not hope for more than that this day not contain too much pain.

There’s plenty going on just outside his view though, and his guard brings in bits and snippets, so that we know there are greater events unfolding. What the prisoner must do is crucial to those events. It’s very well done, and ends in something good, both for the universe and for the prisoner.

There are more stories set in the Esto universe, which I am now inspired to read. 5 marbles

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