Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Migratory Pattern of Dancers, by Katherine Sparrow

The Migratory Pattern of Dancers is a new setting of a familiar story line--the dystopian future in which a class of entertainers are set apart to tame the masses.  The version that comes to mind is Rollerball, but the first one I remember I can't find the link to--something like "The Champion", where people come to watch an annual suicide car race, and the one and only winner comes back to compete again.

But to our present story--some men have voluntarily integrated genetic material from birds into their DNA, which makes them do birdlike things, including migrate and engage in bird dances.  These are compelling to the public, which they would be, danced with feeling as the men do.  The story does a nice job of covering male bonding--the laconic physicality of it, and all.  Not a lot of tension but it reads well.  It's nice, and I'll give this Nebula 2011 nominee 3 stars, but am hoping for more.

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