Saturday, September 5, 2015

The God Year, by Jim Grimsley

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The people of an ugly fantasy world where the narrator's drunken husband beats and humiliates her and his handicapped child await the coming of a god. (8,011 words; Time: 26m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The God Year," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 09|15, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The writing and the plotting are fine, and it's certainly suspenseful waiting for the god, and it's certainly satisfying when the god heals Newt and punishes Mabus. It's also a nice twist that Mabus fears the god incarnating as the Newt--which tells us that Mabus does know the difference between good and evil. (Otherwise punishing him would be unsatisfactory.) It's also a good touch that Roufous does not survive the incarnation--it's the kind of thing that's unsatisfying if it doesn't come at a high price. The dialect is fairly smooth, although there are a few points where the narrator falls out of character for a clause or two, and that's jarring.

Con: The trouble is, the bad guy is too evil. The whole town is too revolting. He beats his son--treats him like an animal. Barely treats his wife any better. Worst of all, she just accepts it. Also, the way the whole town seems to consist of nothing but alcoholics is hard to credit.

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