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2013 Story 10

10. ROBOTNIK by Lavie Tidhar, from Dark Faith: Invocations  Lavie Tidhar's short stories usually pull me and don't let go, so i was surprised that this one didn't quite click for me. The set-up is interesting -- terminally injured combatants are cyborged into "robotniks" to continue fighting, fed something called "crucifixation" to erase their memories and keep them fighting, and then abandoned to menial work and death after the war is over -- but I had a hard time connecting with Motl, the point of view character. The story alternates past and present, and those shifts are handled very well by the author. I came away feeling like I understood Motl's past, but not his present -- the little hints of his present-day world didn't create lasting images in my mind, and I didn't feel any emotion regarding his current day predicament, even though I recognized the parallels with our own present day armed forces coming home and facing a lack of support.

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