CL Moore’s Song in A Minor Key, was a pleasant, almost poetic reflection on human nature and the inevitability of the future. The story was short, it was a nice read, and felt like a breath of fresh air after reading Johnny Mnemonic. What drew me to Song in a Minor Key was the character. The entire story is basically a long reflection by a space outlaw who’s taken refuge on earth – his home planet, and the very place he was originally outlawed from. We learn that the main character has had a very difficult and violent past, however his problems are all the result of his own rebellious nature.
What makes the character interesting is that although he continually talks about how rambunctious he was, and all the problems that resulted from that, the feeling we get from him as he is talking is that of a calmer, more somber person. This difference in personality makes the character feel a lot more 3-dimensional and much more likeable as well.
Midway through the story, I found myself actually interested in what the character was saying and what had gone on during his life. In fact my only real issue with the story was its length. For what it was – a short reflection on a past life – I thought Song in a Minor Key was just long enough. But it would be nice to see the character in action; now that we’ve been introduced to him I want to see what his world is like, to read about his adventures and the specific events that took place in his life.
The ending to Song in a Minor Key my favorite part of the story. After going on about the events that took place in his life and thinking about how it would have been had he been given another chance, the main character came to an interesting conclusion, and one that often holds true in real life – that even if he could start his life over knowing everything that he currently knows he would still make the same mistakes and probably end up in a similar place. His problems, he reflects were not the result of serendipity or circumstance, they all came from within him.