Monday, September 05, 2011

Aaron's Story Recommendation of the Week :: Medic! by Adam Perin

Medic! illoMy story recommendation of the week is for "Medic!" by Adam Perin, from Writers of the Future, Vol. XXVII, the second of the three SROTW's I'm permitting myself to give to fellow WOTF27 winners (even though all the other winners are deserving). The illustration is by Gregory J. Gunther, reproduced here with his kind permission.

While all the Writers of the Future winners are exceptional in different ways, to me "Medic!" is the single most successful WOTF27 winner at creating a distinctive voice. The first-person narrative perfectly conveys the main character's brusque but conflicted personality, right from the opening lines:
Some guys go insane from being buried alive. I always get drowsy.
Our protagonist Sergeant Silk is a convict who was paroled because his skills as a medic were desperately needed in a bloody interplanetary war. He can go home to his fiancée if he survives long enough to save 1000 soldiers. He's currently at 995.

Adam Perin does a nice job of understandably presenting a far-future medic's difficult job. More importantly, "Medic! is a superb character study. Sergeant Silk is skilled at his work, he takes no shit from anyone rank be damned, and he is barely holding a lid on his tumultuous emotions. His story makes for gripping reading.

After sampling a host of different professions (including emergency medical technician), Adam Perin is now a diplomat with the U.S. State Department. "Medic!" is his first professional fiction sale. We'll let him retire when he gets to 1000.


Ryan Harvey said...

Completely agree. This is one of my favorites from our group of winners.

Aaron Hughes said...

Hey, Buddy, thanks for dropping by!

I've been enjoying your ERB Venus reviews for Black Gate. As much as I loved Edgar Rice Burroughs growing up, it's embarrassing that he was still writing the same stuff (or even a little worse) into the '40s, when the rest of the field had improved so dramatically.