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Fiction Friday is a series where I talk about what I’ve been reading. Short Stories (and sometimes Novellas) are featured as in-between posts and the first Friday of the month will feature a new novel review. Today, I review The Gallian Revolt as Seen from the Sama-Sama Laundrobath by Brenda Kalt.
Got your laundry set? Good, cause we’re off to the Sama-Sama Laundrobath.
Today’s short story is The Gallian Revolt as Seen from the Sama-Sama Laundrobath, by Brenda Kalt, as featured in Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. You can find it here. Many stories about revolution are told from the perspective of those involved in said revolution. Rarely do they feature those from the innocent bystanders who happened to not only witness the whole thing but be an accomplice in the event. So, let’s get the revolution televised.
Ter Zamora of the Sama-Sama Laundrobath
The story focused on Ter Zamora, one of many unique interstellar races living in Chemical Town, a dump if there ever was one. During an otherwise normal day, A Gallian named Car Gurdin enters the Laundrobath looking to get cleaned up. Instead, he hides some contraband that the owner discovers and promptly disposes of it. But when Officer Yang gets involved, she fears becoming an accomplice to a crime that could cost her not just her laundrobath, but her whole existence.
It’s a fun story to read that has quite the impact. An old alien creature surviving in a crummy town and a conflict ready to happen. Most of these stories are from the perspective of some grizzled war veteran, or some D-rank member who went in over his head. This one is not only an alien but an old one at that.
I say alien because that’s what I picture in my head. I mean, I’m one of those who can’t imagine anything human-like existing in space. Seeing this granny protagonist get in deep with a rebel organization, is a fun story to read. Even at some 3k words, there’s a lot that’s satisfying even if it became a TV episode for something.
I feel Ter is let off the hook a little easily at times. I mean, granted, they don’t want her finding out, but I felt them apprehending her and then the revolt happening would be very impactful. That’s just me.
That aside, I do like Ter’s character. Broken language, direct and blunt at times, and willing to protect even the shadiest of people. Imagine someone in a run-down neighborhood that everyone knows. They might be crude, but they’ll give anyone a helping hand unless you are a complete dick.
I love characters like that and feel not just relatable, but human. Even if they have to get their hands dirty, like a barkeep who doesn’t go one way or the other. Car is a good character as well, especially since he never came off as threatening. You do suspect he’s up to no good, but while he gets into shady stuff, he’s a kind man at heart, especially towards the end when he makes up with Ter.
I also found that while Officer Yang is the antagonist here, he didn’t really come off as truly evil, and while he was cruel, he was only doing what he felt was necessary. It’s rare to see a villain who is above all just doing his job. Busting criminals in a bad neighborhood. In fact, no one really had that bad of a bone in their body, which I feel makes this story unique and accessible for those who are adverse to the typical evil character who abuses others for fun. A nice contrast in that everyone is in the same boat. Doing what they can to survive.
Not much else to add. It’s a nice story with a reasonable amount of suspense and likable characters. I never would have guessed something so simple can be so entertaining. This was a fun story and I’d love to see more like this.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
(Ding!) Oh, looks like my laundry’s done. Just in time, too.