White City by Lewis Shiner
I am slowly working my way through a dark fantasy series, The Dark Tower to specific. I’m moving through the book seven of nine in the series. I’m including the prequel novella as well and the series is losing me. Stephen King has done what he always does. He begins to meander in his storytelling and becomes nonsensical to me. As I am no longer enjoying the series as I once was, I decided to finish the Eighth edition of The Yeast Best Scifi. One of the final stories is The White City by Lewis Shiner.
So what is it about? It’s in the 1800s and Nicola Tesla attending the world fair. He is arrogant and snobbish, but he has something that could change the world, he claims. He does his demonstration in front of a massive crowd, sending electricity into the sky. It dances up there, lighting the night sky. And it is to there forever. Tesla declares his plan is to light the entire sky so there will be no more night.
The good? I like this imaginative alternative history. I think it’s a great set for a great scifi tale.
The bad? The story is short. I’m talking about four pages long. Also, there is a single good idea and nothing else. The moment he announces his plan to chase away the night with this tech, the story ends. It actually feels like a set u to a much bigger tale and it really should have been. There was so much potential from idea and the author could have easily went on, but didn’t bother to.
Overall, it’s not much of a story at all. It barely qualifies as one. And unfortunately, it has an imaginative idea that could have been expanded into something great. But because it is so short and offers so little, it’s not worth your time. This is a skip.
2 smoothies out of Five
Overall Rating: An Alternative History Tale That Barely offers Anything at All.