Skip to main content

An Evening with Severyn Grimes by Rich Larson

"An Evening With Severyn Grimes" by Rich Larson 

This story came out of the July/August 2017 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction.  The story was written by Rich Larson. 

This was an interesting story.  It had everything you could want in futuristic adventure stories.  Hackers abound in this story along with political activists and activism.  It had daring kidnapping, and sound wave hacking, along with a mother's love and a deal with the devil.  Somehow Rich Larson fit it all into this short read. 

man, Pierce, wearing a Fawkes mask, and a woman, Girasol, are in a dank room with a single chair.  They talked as Girasol sat down in the silicone chair and opened her neural port at the top of her spine.  Pierce took out a vial of liquid called Hypnotic and shot it into Girasol vein.  Slowly, Girasol lowered her neural port to the plug beneath the chair.  After connecting the neural port and being in a deep sleep from the Hypnotic she merged onto the data stream of the world.  Riding the sound waves of the world and manipulating the data that commands everything in reality. 

Severyn Grimes was the second wealthiest man alive.  He was also living forever through volunteer bodies.  Volunteer bodies are people who allow other people to upload their data core and take over their body, but with their old thoughts and memories. 

Grimes was watching cage matches between puppets.  Soon he grew bored of watching the men pummel each other into a bloody pulp and decided to call it a night.  Grimes and his bodyguard, Finch, walked out of the fight and took his limo out on the town. 

As they were riding along, the limo malfunctioned.  Finch, accessing the system analysis through the optical dashboard visible with his eyes, announced it was just something with the exhaust pipe.  Pulling over, Finch jumped out to take care of whatever was wrong with the limo.  Then shit became real very fast. 

Finch was ambushed and taken by a group of men wearing Fawkes masks.  A voice came over the limo speakers and started talking to Grimes.  The voice was telling him that he was going to die.  That what he did was wrong.  Taking and using puppets to live forever was wrong and he abused the people he used for that purpose.  The voice made the threat that after that night he wouldn’t be using another person for a puppet. 

Soon Grimes was going to die, unless he could find a way out of this mess.  He also wondered who the voice was talking to him.  Was the voice someone he could manipulate?  Was the voice really planning on killing him, or was there an ulterior motive.  Soon Grimes was going to find out the answer to all the questions he had.  The question then became was it something he was going to like. 

I really dug this story.  It was action packed and never had a dull moment.  This story had me hooked from the first pages.  Already I was asking the question what is going on here, and what are they planning on doing.  I couldn't wait to find out.  
The story was futuristic and portrayed an interesting backdrop on how life could be after the singularity.  What would the future be like if people could live forever?  Would only the rich have access to this type of life, or would everyone have the ability if they so desired?  In this story only the rich had the ability because they had the money to pay people off for their bodies. 

Tension was from the get go.  The tension built and built, never letting you go.  The story was intense, but in a good way.  You just always had the feeling like the other shoe was going to drop any time, but you just weren't sure when, or what it would be. 

This is yet another story of why Rich Larson is fast becoming a well-known name in the SF community.  I have yet to read a story of his that I didn't love.  I can't wait to read another story he wrote. 

Overall, look for this story.  I highly recommend it if cyber-punk is your thing.  If cyber-punk is not your thing, I still recommend this story.  The story is more SF thriller than punk.  It's not hardcore cyber-punk, but it has that feel to it.  I don't think you will be disappointed in this story either way.


Popular posts from this blog

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow
This story comes from the anothology "Brave New Worlds" edited by John Joseph Adams.
This story had an interesting concept.  A government program in Merry Valley gives anonymous and random red cards to some of the residents.  A government issued revolver is also given along with the red card.  These red cards entitle the carrier of the card to become what is known as an "enforcer." 
An enforcer gets to kill one person of their choosing for any reason.  They can kill with impunity, but must follow the laws and guidelines of the program to not get in trouble.  As long as the guidelines are followed there are no repercussions

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson
This story comes from the anthology "The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Vol. 2" edited by Neil Clarke.
This is a story about a squad leader, named Elliot, and his squad.  Elliot is the squad leader of the team that was flying through the air of the planet.  He is also the squad leader addicted to pain killers.  Although he tries to hide this fact from his squad many of them notice the changes in him.  He's not fooling anyone.
The squad wasflying through the air of a planet when they hit a smart mine and went down.  The planet was covered in large swathes of fungi.  Fields of it for miles.  Small amounts of flora, but pretty much just the fungi all around them.
They went down pretty hard, but with only one casualty.  Beasley was pretty much sheared in half, but still coherent.  He sent out a ripple to the squad.  Each squad member saw the flash of light on their optic visor that allowed them an up or down vote on whe…

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden
This story comes from the collection "Tell My Sorrows To The Stones" written by Christopher Golden.
This story started out following a national guardsman, Carl Weston, waiting in a trench.  We aren't sure what he is waiting for yet, but we find out he is "babysitting" one of the new guardsman, Brooksy.  Soon we find out the National Guard is working with Border Patrol on the Mexican Border.
The Border Patrol had intel that there was a cartel running illegals across the borders and making them smuggle cocaine at the same time.  A double bonus for the cartel.  The Border Patrol setup an operation to stop this shipment of drugs and illegals crossing the border withthe National Guard backing them up.
Soon illegals crossed the border from Mexico into the United States carrying backpacks full of drugs.