Sunday, June 16, 2013

Short Story Saturday 6/15: A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel

A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel by Ken Liu
Source: Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, Jan/Feb 2013 edition

What is it about?
Charlie tells the story about how the Trans-Pacific Tunnel came to be at the same time he tells of his growing relationship with Betty. It turns out that he's been keeping a secret. After spending time with Betty he learns that there is a balance between speaking too loudly and not speaking at all. 

I couldn't see where the story was going when I first picked it up. But the more I read, the more I wanted to read. This is surprising since there's no action -anywhere in the story. This read as someone retelling the events of their life. Which is fine, since this is what it's supposed to be. (At least that's how I read it.) There were parts that were a little dry, but once I got used to the character's voice it was much easier to read. I like the way that the issue of racial and class superiority is handled in this story. The best way to describe it would be fact, neither good not bad - it just was. That doesn't mean that the characters were okay with it, but it was a part of this world. Charlie's secret was powerful and believable. In the end, he doesn't go against the character that we have gotten to know, But, honorably, he decides to do something to make the secret a little harder to keep.

Always Shine, 
Starr K

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