55327_girl-writing_md RSR rating: hard SF, 3 stars, published in Lightspeed.

Jake is one of a group of cyborgs, suddenly of questionable use since the war is over. They’re being held in a barracks within a prison compound, and a treaty says they have to be destroyed. The cyborgs have a plan to escape and pass as human.

This one is clearly hard SF, as the cyborgs will pass as clanking hardware. RSR has pointed out some disbelief issues where the author trots in imaginary science and slides over likely repercussions for human guards. The eventual escape plan also seems a bit over-contrived, when I really would have enjoyed more action.

I like the story. John Chu has got style. He also creates a great tension. We’re not sure whether we’re going to get sex here or a fight-to-the-death finish. As it happens, neither pans out for us, but at the end we’re still hanging on, sure one or the other is going to happen.

Drawbacks: For some reason, I had a hard time getting into the narrative here. Story structure maybe? There’s not much of a hook, and also, the story rambles along, just two guys doing things and getting to know each other, without the narrative having any sharply rising action. When we get down to the climax, still not much happens. I spite of this, I really like the humor and the flow of the story.
I’ll give it 4 stars.