The ED SF Project

The Ellen Datlow/SCI FICTION Project, that is. We're showing the love for five and a half years of great short fiction, and we need your help! We've got over 300 stories to cover, so if you're a person who loves short speculative fiction, we want you. Go here to read the list and add your voice.

Friday, December 30, 2005

"Freeing the Angels" by Pat Cadigan and Chris Fowler: An Appreciation by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

What a body misses while absent from the Net. I came back online after seven years to discover SCI FICTION and to hear about this place closing down. When I heard of the ED SF Project, I decided to visit and found myself clicking on story after story, reading and regretting those years of not knowing about this treasure trove online.

Going through the list, my eye was caught by a story written by Pat Cadigan and Chris Fowler.

"Freeing the Angels" starts with these lines:

He was standing on the sidewalk, idly flexing his brand-new arm while he waited to cross with the rest of the blowfish, when he heard his mother's voice in his mind. Unbidden, unwished-for, apropos of nothing, it came to him: Carry on the way you have been, Danny-boy, you be seein' angels a lot sooner than you want to. Or maybe devils. You sure got some bad in you, boy. Watch it don't catch you out and take you down. When you go, you want to see them angels waiting to take you in.

Captivated by these lines, I found myself following Danny, a guy revelling in the experience of walking down the street, equipped with a new prosthetic arm. But what an arm! No ordinary bionic arm for Danny. This one comes with its own instruction manual and a quantum state generator. It also opens the doorway to an incredible partnership with Trader Vic, a woman who is gifted in making all the right deals, and whose deals in the story, provide for the fast paced adventure that follows.

This to me was the ultimate mix--science fiction embracing the unexplainable. Just like the story title promises, it is a fantastic blend of mystical and futuristic elements, science and the supernatural joined together in perfect harmony. Filled with action and unexpected twists, I found myself literally sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for what would happen next.

What stays with me from reading "Freeing the Angels" is a sense of wonder at how the mind is limitless in its possibilities and its imaginations. What causes man to push his imagination beyond what exists--what pushes him to see and create stories like this is a reflection of the divinity in man that science will never truly be able to explain away.

Thank you, Pat and Chris, and thank you, SCI FICTION.

Link to story.


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