Review: “Rolling Steel” by Jay Lake & Shannon Page -
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Review: “Rolling Steel” by Jay Lake & Shannon Page

The full title is “Rolling Steel: A Pre-Apocalypic Love Story.” You can listen to the audio on Clarkesworld Magazine. Read by Shaun Farrell and Mur Lafferty.

Angel’s Adjectives: sassy and salty

I suspect that this short story isn’t nearly as entertaining to read as it is to hear read to you. The sassy and salty personalities of the two main characters come to life through the voices. Written in first person, it lends itself especially well to the audio medium. Considering it’s the characters that are the truly interesting parts of this story, it all fits together nicely.

Two people live in a futuristic, “pre-apocalyptic” world and come together at a critical time in their lives. They have a rocky flirtation that evolves as they kill people, blow things up and even shoot each other. By the time the ending comes around, it could all go up in a puff of smoke.

An underlying current of humor runs through this story, as it does through much of Jay Lake’s work. Unfortunately, I haven’t read anything else by Shannon, so I can’t compare this with her other work, but I suspect she finds humorous writing much to her taste because she draws out plenty of chuckles and laughs in her portion of this story as well. It’s all about the sassy dialogue and salty talk of battle and bodily fluids.

“Rolling Steel” is told in alternating segments of Jay’s character’s POV and Shannon’s character’s POV. I assume Jay wrote the man and Shannon wrote the woman, though it’s never safe to assume anything. Both POVs blend well together and acquire the same sassy, stream of consciousness rhythm.

I liked it.