A former penal colony in space has been abandoned to the guards and the prisoners for a very long time, enough so that the current inhabitants have all been born and grown up in the brutal system. Everyone that is not an "Enforcer", aka guard, must be ever vigilant and ready to fight and kill. The MC is a forger's apprentice who gets caught up in events surrounding the return of the spacemen who had abandoned them there.
For plot, I give this an A+ (9). The tale is sometimes crude in its descriptions, but that actually works in favor of the story, as it reinforced the somewhat barbaric conditions that the survivors in the Temperdis have had to endure for many years.
For technical score, an A (8). There were just enough small mistakes to bring the score down without distracting from the story. A few homophonic errors, a few added or missing words, but overall a well edited tale.
For appeal, another A+ (9). I look forward to reading the rest of the stories in this series/universe.
Reviewed: 2013-11-20 - (Review Updated: 2013-11-21)
This must be one of the most overlooked gems on SOL - can't believe I get to be the person who writes the first review of any of the Family Volentrin stories!
In 'Purgatory's Children' we are introduced to Benni, an apprentice forger in the claustrophobic hell that is "Temperdis". Life is cheap in Temperdis, brutish, short and violent. Bonds between heart-friends, fuck-bunnies and family run deep, but competition between families is usually brutal and fatal.
Things are getting worse in Temperdis that the usual levels of bad, though. Benni's heart-friend Demper works on the very bottom levels, and they're handling some serious bio-chem from Upstairs there. There's an increased presence of Enforcers from Upstairs, a sudden rush of jobs on the black market (just about the only type of market in Temperdis), and on top of that, fanciful rumours of the return of the spacemen (who kids are told will save them all from Temperdis and deliver them to the stars). It's all about to go off.
Fick Suck has created an incredible world here, one that you buy into straight away, as repellent and violent as it is. He manages to ameliorate the horror of Temperdis with the surprising depths of loyalty and tenderness in the human relationships between the members of Family Volentrin. It's a hard road, and not without loss, but we root for Benni and his family as the plot unfolds.
If you're at all into properly good science fiction, then you can't miss this story. The others in the universe are good - very good - but somehow never quite match the immediate appeal and novelty of Temperdis.
Just... read it.