REVIEW: “Möbius Continuum” by Gu Shi

Review of Gu Shi, “Möbius Continuum”, Clarkesworld 132: Read online. Reviewed by Kerstin Hall.

This one didn’t work for me, and it may be the case that I was simply the wrong audience. As it stands, I found “Möbius Continuum” to be amongst the weaker pieces published in this issue of Clarkesworld. I believe that readers with a taste for the philosophical may find more to admire – that’s not what floats my boat.

In part, the story functions as a thought experiment, a sort of mental repositioning. It is interesting, but there’s little more I can say without giving major spoilers. And even though I anticipated the ending, I still didn’t quite buy it. The conclusion necessitated a kind of tidiness which I experienced as anti-climactic.

Early in the narrative, the protagonist crashes his car over a cliff. Both he and his passenger survive, but the protagonist is left paralysed from the neck down. His enigmatic companion urges him not to despair, and to see his injuries as an opportunity.

I think my largest problem with “Möbius Continuum” is that I never received a strong enough impression of the protagonist’s character. I found it difficult to care about him, and thus the stakes of failures never raised my heart rate. I can see how this nebulousness served an ultimate thematic purpose, but I experienced it as a structural problem. Why should I be invested in this story, what is there to keep me reading? The answer is probably intellectual curiosity, but I wanted emotion on top of that.

Published by

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s