Title: Red Between the Lines
Author: Parker Foye
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Release Date: Oct 8, 2018
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Page Count: 75
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Wynfield, a washed-up former Corpsman with optical bioware and a healthy chip on his shoulder, is reluctantly drawn into a conspiracy to take down Nutrindustry, the company responsible for both his “upgrade” from human and the city’s food shortage.
Playing clinic doctor for the day, Yeven doesn’t expect the mouthy former pilot and their begrudging attraction—nor the fresh twist of shame for his part in Nutrindustry’s past. He needs Wynfield, though, and for more than his smart mouth. Feelings would just get in the way.
In a world where the line between man and metal is thin, there’s more happening behind the scenes than even Wynfield’s enhanced optics are able to see.
This is a fast-paced science fiction novella that straddles the line between smuggler and military scifi. Which just happens to be two of my favorite sub-genres.
Blurb does a good job of summarizing the plot, plus it’s a short story, so I won’t rehash.
I enjoyed this, and actually regretted it was only a short story. World-building was well done, so much of the backdrop was shown through Wynfield’s eyes such as the impatient beeps of the reception drones, the square security ‘bots, and worries about what the cleaning drones would have to cope with later.
Through Wynfiel’s character, we learn he’s got problems with his bioware eye that keeps malfunctioning, he’s got cash-flow issues, and it now seems someone has it in for him. Wynfield is a pessimist, hoping to just get by one more day, one more job, so he can away to a different city and life. I liked Wynfield’s wry sense of humor – I think his quips and comments kept the story line from becoming overly bogged down in cyborgs.
Yeven is full of surprises, some of them questionable to Wynfield’s overall well being. But when someone is sending cyborg assassin’s after Wynfield, he’s not going to ask too many questions.
The character of Heath felt like a nod to the Terminator movies (bit of a blast from the past that made me smile).
Set on an alien world, where AI/Androids/drones and provide security detail, humans are modified, and Nutrindustry rules all, Wynfield just needs to stay alive and Yeven just might be his ticket to do so. If only he can trust the guy.