A Nebula-nominated short story with tongue in cheek and arm in mouth

Note: this is the second to last review of the short stories nominated for this year’s Nebula Award. All but one of the other nominees are reviewed in recent posts on this site. The one that is missing is “Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff. Check back on May 16th and that review should be up as well. 

I tend to prefer drama over comedies, but right now — after months of marching and protesting the fiasco that is our current government — I need all the humorous stories I can find. “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline Yoachim fits the bill. This funny little story is told in second person, and it’s broken up into segments like a decision tree — if you do x, go to y, etc.

The narrator tells of a tragic tale of injury and insult resulting in death on a space station inhabited with fanciful characters who would have been quite at home in the Mos-Eisley Cantina. The reader will recognize the weary endurance that dominates the tale as our narrator goes from room to room in the medical clinic looking for help in a world enslaved by bureaucratic processes.

The story isn’t deep or important, but it made me laugh. Thanks.

Thumbs up and 4.5 stars out of 5.



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