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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Silly Millimeter by Steve Bellinger

A Silly Millimeter by Steve Bellinger
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (5 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewer: Astilbe

There is a very small problem with Hank and Mindy's house. And if they don't fix it in a week, they'll pay a hefty fine and the house will be leveled! Yes, you can fight City Hall, you just can't win. Even over the smallest infraction.

Every society needs to enforce certain rules in order to survive. As Hank and Mindy are about to discover, though, too many petty regulations can turn bureaucracy into a four-letter word.

This couple’s frustration with the strict by-laws in their city grows more inflamed by the minute. This piece was so short that the reader doesn’t really get a chance to see the conflict build up slowly. The quick escalation does work in Mr. Bellinger’s favor as I soon found myself growing angry about all of the hoops these characters had to jump through.

One of the best scenes involves a secondary character who makes an unexpected adjustment to their surroundings. This change is foreshadowed early on and seeing it come to fruition injects some humour into an otherwise quite serious plot. I don’t know if the author has any plans to write about this character in the future but I can definitely see how they could be further developed in one or more additional stories about this universe.

My only criticism is that the ending seemed rushed. At first I didn’t quite understand what was happening and needed to reread it before everything made sense. The solution the main characters came up with was something I figured out early on but it did make sense in the context of the story.

A Silly Millimeter is an unexpectedly funny tale about the importance of obeying the law. I’d recommend it to anyone who has ever wished they could pick and choose from among only some of the crazy rules that govern our lives.

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