Review: Signal by Renee Carter Hall

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Review: Signal by Renee Carter Hall


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Humanity has gone, but whispers of those before live on in the collective conscience and oral tradition of the talking animals that now inhabit the earth. Jak, a Rakuun, discovers a discarded cellular telephone and takes it back to his den.

Though the batteries are run down there isn’t any reception in a post-human world, the curious find leads the young raccoon to discover things he may have been happier without. His journey to find answers leave behind a trail of tragedy. It is not stated outright in this piece, but his treasure may well be cursed.

Indeed, don’t be fooled by cutesy raccoon on the cover. “Signal” by Carter Hall is a somber, contemplative and ultimately bitter-sweet piece of science fiction.

The main theme of this story is the futility of progress. Though it explores this from both an animalistic and human point of view. Whether Jak stayed in his clan to raise a litter of kits with Mara or whether he dies trying to learn more about those before, the reader is left with a sense of futility. What is he really achieving? What are we really achieving?

Perhaps Jak finds a better answer. Perhaps he does not. The piece has a punchy open ending that allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. And perhaps spur them to dwell on it for a little while longer.

This “Pocket Shot” is comparable in format to the “Cupcake” - a term coined by fellow furry imprint FurPlanet. It is substantial enough to warrant its own printing, though it is not as long as a novella.

Veteran furry writer Renee Carter Hall entertains, enlightens and forces introspection with believable characters, lovely locations and excellent prose. It is a quick and enlightening read. Highly recommended for those who like talking animals, science fiction and a little bit of existential dread. Excellent. * * * * *
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