book reviews by Althea

The Game of Smash and Recovery – Kelly Link *****

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The Game of Smash and Recovery
The Game of Smash and Recovery by Kelly Link
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anat lives with her beloved brother Oscar, alone on an alien planet. The small base they’re on has enough to keep them alive – although not in any kind of luxury. Anat knows They do, however, have the robot ‘handmaids’ which can do just about any task one sets them to. Oscar and Anat are waiting for their parents to return, although she doesn’t remember them. All she remembers is Oscar taking care of her, although he’s shown her pictures of them with their parents. She depends on Oscar, and obeys his rules, which help keep her safe from the alien vampires who lurk outside.

To pass the time, they play a hide-and-seek-type game which they’ve come up, which they call ‘the game of smash and recovery.’ But one day, in the process of playing that game, Anat will unexpectedly recall that the one she’s playing isn’t the only game in town that could be described by that phrase.

Eerie, bizarre and masterfully-crafted; this short story is taking its place among the ranks of Link’s best.

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