Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere, by John Chu

Gay and lesbian romance is now finally getting its day, so pretty much all the romance in SF is actually bromance or girlmance (I made that last one up.  Slightly lame).  But SF has never been great at romance, so the GLBT versions give it a chance to go back and get that more right.  Would that it didn't feel so fashionable.  The Water... is a story of coming out to an unsupportive family, with the SF twist that no one can get away with lying anymore.  Why?  Instead of noses growing like Pinocchio, people get drenched with water. 

So there's a lot you could do with this premise as social experimentation.  What really counts as a lie?  And that's explored here, but pretty much purely through relationships.  It's the trickiest case for the omniscient water-dousers to handle, but handle it they do.  Or it does.  The source of this new permanent polygraph is not clear.

The story is much more serious than the review.  The SF is really window dressing for the fraught family situation, but given the power of the speculation that's kind of a waste.  On the other hand, it's a well written story, so 3 stars from me.

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