Review of Rich Larson, “Last Nice Day”, Clarkesworld Issue 178, July (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.
Our protagonist fancies himself a character out of a book. From the very beginning of the story, you can see that he narrates things, and has an internal dialogue with the reader. As a fictional character, he is a transparent and well-informed one. He talks about flashbacks, narrative styles, supporting characters, and Chekhov’s gun.
It transpires that he also has a subself – he’s a type of agent, a government- trained operative. One who has secret missions. His subself is the one who handles that bit, but to what extent has he been affected by this? Is the pretense at being a fictional protagonist his way of coping? Or is it something else entirely?
There are many elements at play here, and the vivid descriptions add a enjoyable layer to the story.