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Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Trigger Tide" by Wyman Guin

First appeared in Astounding.  Reprinted by Groff Conklin, Eric Flint, Jim Baen, David Drake.  Online.

Protagonist awakes on a foreign planet, left for dead.  He returns to the society that had damaged him--even putting out an eye.  The protagonist has to figure out how to survive the planet before the tides return.

This has the energy and plotting verve of Alfred Bester's best fiction, with touches of Asimov's mysterious psychohistory.

David Drake writes:
"[When] I first read ["Trigger Tide"].... I didn't understand it, but I almost understood it. The work stood on its own as an action/adventure story, but it held an assumption about how the world, the universe, worked that I couldn't quite grasp. I've reread the story a number of times since then.... but I still don't think I quite understand it. Neither have I ever gotten 'Trigger Tide' out of my mind. That's why it's here."
 This is quite true.  While you almost feel you understand it, it slips out from under you.  But it seems to be about fighting to live on changing/changeable planet, where society is unafraid to sacrifice/slit your throat.  Being able to take a beating is admired; however, allowing people seems problematic.  At least, that's my tentative assessment.  The protagonist is a foreigner--a political tug-of-war whose ethical ramifications are hidden from the reader.

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