Of Bone and Steel and Other Soft Materials

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Eking out an existence as a scavenger in post-apocalyptic Russia, Ryska never thought she would be more than a blind, discarded military experiment. Then she ends up in the middle of a kidnapping gone wrong and must use her all her skills to save herself, and the young boy who brings back painful memories of her past.

This is a science fiction short story. More
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About Annie Bellet

Annie Bellet is a full-time speculative fiction writer. She holds a BA in English and a BA in Medieval Studies and thus can speak a smattering of useful languages such as Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Welsh.

She has sold fiction to AlienSkin Magazine, Contrary Magazine, and Daily Science Fiction Magazine. She's also collected a healthy stack of Honorable Mentions and placed as Semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a very demanding Bengal cat.

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Reviews

Review by: Francis W. Porretto on Dec. 27, 2011 :
This has possibilities. It could be tightened about fifteen percent further, and you have some stylistic jags that deserve the attention of a seriously tough editor, but on the whole, it’s well done.

Thematically, it’s a bit obscure. Your scene-setting works acceptably well, but Ryska’s emotional bonding to the dead Luka isn’t quite clear enough to make her response to Toma completely credible. Beyond that, the reader is guaranteed to want to know how Ryska came to be what she is, as well as who she is, and you provide approximately no information about her origins. We must assume that she started out wholly human and was cyber-engineered into what she is now...but why was she selected for that procedure, and by whom, and were the facilities that treated her pre- or post-apocalypse? Are there others of her sort? If so, where are they and how was she separated from them?

All the same, for a SmashWords story, it’s a five-star accomplishment. Now go back to your word processor and complete the novel that so unusual a character and so striking a setting deserves!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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