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Conversation Pieces


Vol. 10 — The Red Rose Rages Bleeding)

by L. Timmel Duchamp

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[Eve] turned her attention to the monitor displaying Minnivitch’s cell. Never had it been so clear what Minnivitch was up to. The bare minimalist space of the cell screamed stage, and some strange, dramaturgical magic had transformed the white glare of the indirect fluorescent lighting into spotlights. Kneeling bald and naked on the floor’s glassine surface, Minnivitch—her arms, wrists, hands, and fingers as dramatically expressive as her face—was telling a story to an audience somewhere outside the glare of the lights. —from The Red Rose Rages (Bleeding)

Sarah Minnivitch, an actor sentenced to prison for acts of civil disobedience, wreaked havoc at the for-profit medium-security facility she was first sent to. When Penco transfers her to a high-security facility, the facility’s director assigns Dr. Eve Escher the task of rehabilitating Minnivitch and recovering the corporation’s losses. Escher believes she is on the verge of a scientific breakthrough that will not only rehabilitate the prisoner but also win the physician fame and glory. But the stakes for both Escher and Minnivitch prove to be higher than either of them imagined.

Reviews

"[An] effectively ironic short novel of near-future dystopia and professional disillusionment."
   — Locus, "New and Notable," February 2006

"The Red Rose Rages (Bleeding) is an intense and gripping read. It is dense with ideas without ever becoming bogged down, as the narrative momentum keeps everything moving. It repays rereading to pick up the hints and clues and recurrent themes and images that the pace of the writing may sweep one past during the first read: for example, "the rose-like designs" of the heat-trace readings on Minnivitch when she is in black isolation, Eve's nightmare of a blood-red flower/wound splitting her foot, the rose preserved in glass on Dorner's austere desk, the "flower of fire blazing within" Venedra Poole. Not a comfortable book, but a compelling and thought-provoking one." (read the whole review)
   —Lesley A. Hall, Strange Horizons, April 24, 2006

ISBN: 978-1-933500-02-7 (13 digit)
Publication Date: 2005
paperback 166 pages