Saturday, June 11, 2022

O2 Arena, by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Galaxy's Edge, November 2021

It's 2030, global warming has damaged natural production of oxygen, and our narrator and protagonist is entering law school, not because he wants to be a lawyer, but because he needs a career where he can earn enough O2 credits to live a comfortable life. He's prepared to cut corners and cheat if need be.

He has a friend, a woman named Ovoke, who is also entering law school. She's a better student and far more ethical, but they are very good friends, and he's the only one outside her family that she's told about her tumor, which is probably going to kill her. Her family is getting her the best care they can, but they simply do not have the O2 credits to afford the best care. 

Everything in this world is about oxygen credits. Most people don't have enough for more than just marginal survival. Few have enough for luxuries like plenty of oxygen, nice cars, or excellent health care.

Which is how we get to the O2 Arena, which isn't about fantastic shows, and only has one type of "sporting event."

And our narrator has some very tough decisions to make along the way.

An excellent novelette, extremely well done.

I received this story as part of the 2022 Hugo Finalists Packet, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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