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They said we'd fight for their freedom but I felt like a hired hand - Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth
They said we'd fight for their freedom but I felt like a hired hand
M. Rickert's Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter's Personal Account, from October's F&SF, is a poweful dystopian story, a harrowing tragedy or black comedy depending on your perspective, about a future where mothers who aborted their children are routinely executed, and a child who is dealing with her own mother's missing status. It's presented in a disturbingly believable tone. Highly recommended.

From Analog's September issue, I enjoyed David Grace's story Forever Mommy, another dystopian SF piece in which every child of a certain age is implanted with a device which monitors them and delivers advice; don't eat that, it's bad for you, you shouldn't say those things, etc. It's a clever idea. Then one day Jimmy gains the ability to hear other peoples' devices too. A nice upbeat story with some fine moments.

From Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #22, I enjoyed William Alexander's Away, about a man who returns home after seven years and must come to terms with his family. He is torn between his ideas of magical worlds and their own mundane existence. To his confidantes, the cats, he confides his fear that his youngest son is a changeling. An original and amusing piece.

I'm becoming a big fan of Becca De La Rosa's writing. Her story in this issue, Vinegar and Brown Paper, tells of a girl who is befriended by Jack the Ripper, while longing for Lizzie Borden. As with De La Rosa's work, generally, the enjoyment is not in the destination but in the journey, and the wonderful writing and imaginative ideas.

Carol Emshwiller's Self Story is a lovely little piece of writing; from the point of view of the students of writing class, and their cynical and judgemental observations of their teacher, Carol Emshwiller. Emshwiller delivers a story that is both poignant and funny, and shows an impressive ability to laugh at herself.

Overall, an excellent issue of Lady Churchill.

Chimera and Qi, by Tinatsu Wallace, from the latest Shimmer, is a very nicely written story of a woman whose marriage is in trouble, and whose family is trouble too. It's fantastical in nature, but the emotions at the heart of it feel utterly real and tender. Highly recommended, and particularly impressive as it's the author's first publication.

Current Music: Teddy Thompson

1 comment or Leave a comment
cassiphone From: cassiphone Date: 15th September 2008 03:49 (UTC) (Link)
I loved the De La Rosa too! It's sitting on a sticky note on my laptop to blog about in the next batch.
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