Sunday, April 25, 2021

Monster, by Naomi Kritzer

Clarkesworld, #160, January 2020

Cecily is traveling to a remote area of China, looking for an old friend who has disappeared there. Andrew was her first real friend, the first one who appreciated her nerdiness rather than just overlooking it, the one who drew her into a circle of nerdy friends. They drifted apart after she got into a much better college than he did, but years later, he contacts her again. She's a successful scientist; he isn't. At least, not in the conventional sense. He's interested in her research, and she gives him one of her published papers.

Now he's disappeared, in China, and she's looking for him.

It takes a while before we understand why she's looking for him.

The storytelling is nonlinear, and also very engrossing. Kritzer certainly convinced me she grew up as a nerd, when being a nerd meant mostly being an outcast in school, not just another form of cool.


This story is available as a free read on the Clarkesworld website, and I am reviewing it voluntarily.

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