Wednesday, December 30, 2015

American Golem, by Weston Ochse

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(Military Fantasy) When a young soldier dies in Afghanistan, his grieving grandfather creates an unliving assassin and sends it after the man responsible. (6,100 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"American Golem," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in Operation Arcana (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The golem proves that he does have a soul when he temporarily sacrifices his mission to save the children. Although that doesn't initially seem to be the objective of the story, it gradually becomes so, starting when Isaac wonders if he's capable of feeling love.

It is very fitting, if very sad, that the grandfather had to sacrifice his own life to give Isaac the power he'd need to complete his mission.

Con: On the other hand, we really were expecting to see Isaac kill some terrorists, and so we end the story disappointed. Further, Isaac actually kills some US troops (who were sent to apprehend him). That may make sense in the context of his mission, but it certainly makes him much less sympathetic--his "brother" would hardly have approved. Beyond that, there's no real forshadowing, no "ah ha" moments; it's a simple, linear, story.

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