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The Choice: An Imaginative Tale about Two Boys and an Alien Serpent

Updated on February 21, 2016

The Choice By Paul McAuly

The Choice Review

Okay world, I have moved on into a new word with short stories. I left the volume seventeen edition of This Years of Best Science Fiction to the twenty ninth edition. Okay maybe it’s not that big of a leap but it still new stuff. Today the short is The Choice by Paul McAuley.

So what is it about? Well the setting is an odd post world to an almost apocalypse. As we were destroying our planet, an alien race came in to make peace and help save us from ourselves providing alien technology to help clean our planet. Some people trust them. Others don’t. But that is all set on the back burner as it focuses on two boys Lucas and Damian who live in a floating town. Both are very poor and not from the most well off families. When news comes from the town that a dragon crashed (a dragon is a trash eating giant mechanical sea serpent) and they investigate like many others consumed with curiosity and this will change the boy’s lives forever.

The good? The best thing about this book is not that it’s a science fiction, but that it’s a drama with a science fiction twist to it. It is about the friendship between the two and Damian’s relationship with his abusive father. The story has so many layers surprisingly for its short length. But the tale is well told. Also the setting is great.

The bad? If you want space aliens keep looking. They are mentioned passingly but there’s no real substance to it. Even the boys are not sure what they are. The tale has little action. And the story has tons potential that could have certainly taken been further. Also the ending seemed rushed.

Overall, this is a surprisingly original read. And it’s something to look out for, if you’re browsing short tales. This is a good one. I recommend this to everyone.

4 smoothies out of four.

Overall Rating: An Imaginative Tale about Two Boys and an Alien Serpent.

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