This story was published by Lightspeed magazine. It currently has 12 recommendations on the Nebula Reading List.

The protagonist is on a fictional space station and takes a shortcut through the hydroponics garden, whereupon he/she is bitten by some bug that leaves a nasty purple rash. This causes a quandary, as it suggests he/she ought to go to the medical clinic. At the clinic, wait time to be seen is currently six hours. There are various options that we work through from there, all of which end in a horrible, painful death.

This is another very creative story. It’s written in second person, which means it uses “you” throughout. It also includes a number of loops (if F, go to K), some of which are dead ends. Most go to Z, the horrible, painful death. The characters are diverse, including a Doodoo from Uranus (watch your pronunciation there!), a human nurse and various other colorful creatures. This is clearly humor, and I suspect it might have been written after a trip to the emergency room. It also includes an element of satire, as it mocks medical clinics pretty heavily. Still, it’s pretty light and has a limited message.

Three and a half stars.

Advertisements