the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Pat Cadigan’ Category

This is the next part in my on-going series to read as much of the Hugo nominated material as possible. I don’t feel right about voting in a category if I’ve only read one or two items nominated, you know?

Earlier this week I reviewed the novelettes by Cat Valente and award winning Dutch author Thomas Olde Heuvelt.  Today I’ll review Pat Cadigan’s The Girl-Thing  Who Went Out for Sushi, and hopefully soon I’ll have a post up for the two (holy cow, two in the same category?? damn!) nominated novelettes from Seanan McGuire.

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The Girl Thing Who Went Out for Sushi, by Pat Cadigan

(originally published in Edge of Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan, from Solaris Books)

What a wonderfully strange and completely out-there story! A few generations after the dangerous and sometimes involuntary “turning” procedures, Jovian space is full of sushi. That is, full of octopus and nautiluses and squid and jellyfish who used to be people. The title of the story is a pun on the slang term for going through the surgical transformation. The story is told through Arkae, who was one of the original generations of sushi. The only human on Arkae’s crew is Fry, the titular girl-thing. After sustaining an injury, Fry decides her best bet for staying out in Jovian space is to have the procedure.

Cadigan throws the reader in the deep end, with sly references to past events and lots of slang terms thrown about. For example, Jupiter is just “Big J”, and the different types of sushi have cultural terms for each other. It makes sense, I just wasn’t expecting it. I was completely hooked when I got to this portion, where Arkae is talking about the human disposition towards binary thinking:

“We let them have that their way, too, because, damn can they argue. About anything. It’s the way they’re made. Bipeds are strictly binary, it’s all they know: zero or one, yes or no, right or wrong. But once you turn, that strictly binary thinking’s the first thing to go, and fast. I never heard anyone say they miss it; I know I don’t.”

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.