LOCUS review of "Am I Free to Go?"
Monday, January 07, 2013
My Tor.com story "Am I Free to Go?" received a very favorable review from Lois Tilton, a short fiction reviewer for Locus. She also included it in her list of recommended fiction for 2012.
“Am I Free to Go?” by Kathryn Cramer
What happens when you wake up at 11:30 pm to find the cops in your bedroom, an occurrence become far more likely in this police state scenario, where for-profit jails are looking for more business.
Think fast. Don’t even consider using the W word — as in “do you have a warrant?” Respect authority if you want to come out of this alive.
The narrator has both technology and lawyers on her side; she belongs to the privileged class for whom this utopian society was created. But sometimes people get caught up in the backlash. There are costs. The narrator is changed by the incident; she used to think these things didn’t happen to people like her.
Very cleverly done, in a light tone of voice shading into absurdity, the sort of dystopian absurdity documented by Kafka. The narration switches between the first and second person, saying in effect – This happened to me, it could happen next to you. What are you prepared to do about it? It could be called an example of If This Goes On, except that we know this is really going on already.