Review of Gary Kloster, “Riding the Signal”, Apex Magazine 114 (2018): Read Online. Originally published in InterGalactic Medicine Show, 29 (2012). Reviewed by Joanna Z. Weston.
Alec Chu is a member of an elite squad of remote control mercenaries, who pilot bots to carry out private battles in relative safety. He’s good at the work, and it’s a solid paycheck, until one day his base comes under attack.
This is a solid story about the difference between a soldier and someone who simply fights for a living. Alec (as well as his team leader, a true veteran) struggles with the fact that his team, while highly competent, lacks the unity, trust, and focus that true soldiers possess. As the story goes on, he has to see if he can find that kind of dedication within himself.
This is a more action-heavy story than I usually find in Apex, which I’m sure will please some people, and disappoint others. It’s well-written, so if lengthy action sequences appeal to you, then you will likely enjoy this departure from their usual fare.