26 July 2011

Read This: Nikei Love

Nikei Love, a short  SF story by Marianne de Pierres
Reviewed by Terry Morris

Once upon a time I read a short story about a famous classical composer who was brought back to life. He was reconstituted in some way which I don't recall and may not have been explicitly stated anyway. People seemed pleased to come and see him, and when he was asked to come up with a new musical composition he did see. He worked very hard on it and was finally ready to give a performance. At the end of his performance there was thunderous applause, but it wasn't for him. The applause was for the man who had brought him back for life, as if this man had written the music and done the performance. In a way, he had.

The reason I remember that story was because of the sudden voicelessness, the powerlessness, of the musician.

What about works of art that have their own opinions about their lives? The most famous one to my mind would be Blodwen, the woman who was made of flowers to be the bride of a Welsh hero but who chose a different lover, thus showing a bit more spirit than Pygmalion's statue who compliantly fell in love with her creator.

Marianne de Pierres writes in a kind of cyberpunk or biopunk genre. The characters walk the mean streets of the future where techonology is high but poverty abounds and treachery is everywhere. The narrator of "Nikei Love" is a creation who is not waiting around to be sent back to the vats but is making a bid for freedom and life.

"Nikei Love" is really a brief description of a world rather than the story of a character. It leaves a couple of questions behind such as why the narrator has to go into the vats before a new creation can be made and where the non-created Humans are. Are there any left or have they enhanced themselves into better business propositions?

If you haven't read any of de Pierrre's novels, sample "Nikei Love" for a feel of the kind of world and characters she writes about.

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