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By Samazing, author of Dirigible Ditties

Jan 14, 2009: Ryan A. Span’s Street is one of the better bit of webfiction I’ve had the pleasure to read so far. It is about Gina who lives in futuristic China – a China which is completely covered in a massive city, a China where extreme poverty and incredible technology coexist. Gina, however, is a telepath, a power which is possible in Street thanks to a powerful drug called Spice – yes, Spice, the legendary substance in Dune.

The story picks up when Gina is solicited by a strange man with a Lamborghini to use her telepathic powers for a job. Things go wrong, of course, and she is thrown into the middle of an intense conflict.

In other words, it’s a compelling setting and plot. The setting especially – it is fresh and incredibly interesting. The weakest aspect of the story is the characterization of inhabitants who are not the main character. Gina herself is depicted very believably, but Span failed to really expand on the other characters much beyond their role as plot elements. Plotwise, everything is a little obfuscated – you hardly know who the antagonists are half the time – but this is not a detriment. It comes off as very organic and real.

Looking simply at which words are written out and how they’re put together, Span is solid with flashes of sublimity. Starting out, the story immediately engages the reader and draws them in with some superior writing. As Street progresses it tails off, but is never anything short of good. My complaint is that at stretches Span simply relates the characters’ actions, not doing as much as he could have to deepen Street.

Really, though, there is nothing which cripples your enjoyment of the book, only some distractions. It is roundly well-written, moves quickly enough to hold your interest, and at the worst of moments it is quality entertainment. Now go, and enjoy it!

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