Friday, March 22, 2013

The Finite Canvas, by Brit Mandelo

I had not heard of Brit Mandelo before reading this story, but likely will in the future. The Finite Canvas is a very worthy Nebula novelette nominee. The setting and flow of the story are pretty familiar--post-apocalypse Earth, an exile doctor, and a tough assassin.  But it's told with good strength, making it very enjoyable to revisit familiar themes.  Molly is a doctor exiled from the now more habitable space stations, scraping by on ravaged Earth.  Jada comes to her clinic to trade a nice sum of money and her story for a tattoo.  Doctors don't do tattoos, but there's the money...so Molly gets the story as well.  Both characters get to be sympathetic, though they are pretty damaged goods.  Earth is hell enough for both.  The nice solid story makes revisiting the familiar themes worthwhile.  This is a flat-out good read, a nice way to end the day, though the story itself is not so nice.  Three stars, and only not four because of originality.

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