May 3, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, )

runRuntime by S.B. Divya


At the start of this novella, I felt like I wouldn’t like it. Our main character, Marmeg, lives in a near future, neither dystopic or otherwise, where it’s common for young adults to enhance their bodies with cybernetic implants. To make it clear this is a different time, and that young people set themselves apart from the older generations, Divya has Marmeg and her contemporaries speak in a choppy style, eschewing complete sentences or even complete words as she conveys her thoughts in as few syllables as possible. It reminded me a lot of the junkyard characters from The Walking Dead, and it was difficult to relate to her way of speaking, and as a result, it was difficult to relate to her as a character.

The good news is that this novella overcomes such a shortcoming. The story involves Marmeg entering a race, where the runners adorn themselves with cybernetic suits to help them jump higher, run faster, and endure longer. Marmeg, though, is an unlicensed citizen, and hasn’t grown up with the privileges that licensed citizens have had, so while they have sponsors and teams to help them in this race, Marmeg has put her suit together from junked parts, all by herself. Divya has a lot to say about class divisions here, through Marmeg’s failures and successes.

Runtime starts off slow, but picks up not only when Divya puts Marmeg into the race, but also when she implements the themes of her story. I could have easily abandoned the story early on, due to the dialogue, but I’m glad I stuck with it, as I think this is a story that will linger.

Started: March 1, 2018
Finished: March 2, 2018

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