Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Riding the Waves of Leviathan, by Garrett Ashley

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, December 2015; 6,970 words
Rating: 3, Good, ordinary, story

In the near future, a teen-age boy's world is turned upside down when a giant monster starts hauntings the beaches in his town.

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

Pro: He starts off waning to ride the wave, and he ends up doing it and living to tell the tale.

Under the surface, though, this appears to be a very different sort of story. Leviathan is an image from the Bible, and Elijah is a prophet, so the writer really does seem to be trying to tell us something. The description of the beast sounds like something out of Revelation.

Friendless, feeling abandoned by his parents, the narrator dwells on the idea of killing himself, so perhaps that's what leviathan really represents. Tim's board shattering clearly represents resolution. He doesn't want to die, and he's ready to put Tim and Apollo beach behind him for good.

Con: Symbol or no symbol, the ending seems hopelessly confused. We're not sure what injury he sustained or why Elijah needed to rescue him. The girls play very little role in the story, and the one sexual scene seems pointless. The last paragraph's jump from the past to the present feels very awkward.

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